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Development

March 19 2007 at 4:21 PM
Russ 

 
Sorry to add further to this topic that was locked.

"the Phoenix would be mad to try and run an ENL side for the next couple of years, especially as it is extremely likely that it wouldn't pay off for them in terms of money or player development"

This topic is just a statement, not meant to start off a debate, but I agree that an ENL team, at the moment wouldn't pay off financially as there just isn't a big enough hockey market of fans in the local area to fill the rink at the moment. Next season may see a change in this if the sport is marketted well, takes off, and people get left standing outside out of the cold, if the sport starts to take off again as it did previously. Hopefully, people who can't get tickets for the Elite league, would come to watch an ENL team, as well as the faithful old time ED1 Alty fans. However I do not agree that it would not benefit player development. The junior set up is there to provide hockey to local youngsters and ultimately to feed the senior team hopefully. If there is no ENL league (or a senior team in a league lower than elite) then there is nowhere for the Manchester juniors to mature their game in order to step up to the Elite league (as did Jay and Tommo). Just remember, there is a Manchester under 19's tean already, what happens to any promising players that are too old next season? We lose another years set of youngsters. Anyway. That was just meant to point out the advantages of a team in the ENL league from the point of view of the club. Obviously there would be some financial disadvantages unless sponsorship can be found, but hey, we wont know what can happens until somebody puts the wheels in motion.
Rant over, and sorry for adding to that rick

 
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Rick

Re: Development

March 19 2007, 4:31 PM 

Hi Russ

No probs but my tolerance level for further replies (on the former basis) is low.

In Mike's favour, I don't think he was arguing that an ENL team wouldn't develop players rather that he couldn't see that it should be a priority for them (in the assumption that they were funding it) in the midst of the need to establish the Elite League team financially.

 
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Mike Landers

Re: Development

March 19 2007, 10:27 PM 

I've been giving the idea of a Phoenix funded ENL side for development some thought, and I honestly can't see how it could work.

If a kid has progressed from U14 through 16 to 19, then by then the Phoenix will know if they are good enough for Elite hockey. The logical progression is then to join the Elite club after 19.

If there is some "late bloomers", even three or four then that doesn't justify, from the Phoenix POV, funding or even part funding a 14-18 man squad. If a couple of players that are too old for the U19, but might show latent potential, it is more cost effective to send them to the existing ENL setups at Blackburn or Deeside.

But even then, my strong, strong preference would be to get them to an EPL side. An EPL side would be a higher level of hockey, import netminders, all that sort of thing. However, those costs above ENL are massive and unjustifiable for the reborn Aces.

An ENL side would - and I mean this with respect - have players who with a very rare exception aren't going to make it with the Elite club. An ENL side playing out of the Ice Dome would not be a development squad. Therefore, the Phoenix development system wouldn't have anything to do with it.

Of course, that doesn't mean that there shouldn't be an ENL side at the Ice Dome, to cater for those who are too old for U19 and not good enough for Elite. And if they were in the same league as Blackburn and Deeside, then you've got rivalries and potential income.

What North West hockey really needs to have a truly integrated development setup is an EPL side. And that will not be at the Ice Dome as ong as the Phoenix are in the Elite league.

 
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Phil Ryan

Re: Development

March 19 2007, 10:59 PM 

Mike

Have you ever played hockey????

Have you ever stopped to think the kids that played under
10s,12s,14s,16s,19s actually may want to continue playing
with the people they grew up with as team mates and continue
to play as senior players together?????

An ED1 team would provide this and serve people who want
to play and people who watched them grow up and develop..

This is what watchers of import players will never understand.
Hockey players and parents are family not cheap imports who come
on holiday and play half hearted hockey.....

Sorry Rick......rant over.......

 
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Rick

Re: Development

March 19 2007, 11:30 PM 

Phil shouldn't just be dismissed as having the assumed anti import bias. What he's saying is that for an ENL level team, its more about the players as a team for the players as well as the fans , perhaps a difference between amateur and professional sport. I've not expressed it as well as I'd like but the point's worth emphasising ignoring the digs that Phil has also included.

Mike - your argument has one major flaw in that you're forgetting that the talented juniors may have the ability to play ENL whilst they're still a U16 or U19 player - that's where the development comes in. Yes the ENL team is largely made up of non Elite standard players but they set the context in which a junior can develop with them.

Jason (my usual example) played two years of ENL as an U19. Why do Hull have so many Brits ? Jonker Johnson has been icing them from U14 up in his ENL team.

You'll find most Elite Brits have ENL experience, most too have EPL experience. You can place your talent elsewhere but how do you know it will be coached well?

I agree with you when you say EPL is the better development league but as you hint, there's no chance of the necessary ice time or the need to find four geriatric imports.

 
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Anonymous

Re: Development

March 20 2007, 12:21 AM 

Thank you Rick, some of these people have never seen the relationships you build playing hockey rather than just watching.......We have made lifelong friends across the world playing this sport,,,,its more than money and attendance figures......

 
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Kaz

Re: Development

March 20 2007, 2:50 PM 

Thank goodness you said something about the development issue Rick! I could not believe some of the ignorance expressed by people I can only assume that they are new to the sport and will learn something by the comments from others. I assume that they have never had or known any children that have played the sport and come up through the ranks from an early age to senior level. They have to remember that some people due to work committments, study committments etc cannot put the time in to play at the elite league level but still want to play the sport they love. Also some people cannot afford financially to play at that level either.

 
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RC4

Re: Development

March 20 2007, 9:20 PM 

kaz, rick and phil.... excelent posts, mike.... not so good, i have had the opportunity to play both ENL and EPL and yes EPL is a better league, but expecting an under 19s that is in division2 to jump up to EPL and in some cases ENL can be classed as suicide, there are very rare occasiions where some people have jumped the steps to get to where they are but they were "special cases"
We need something to aim for that is realistic, that is the main rule of goal setting make it realistic because if you shoot for the NHL or the Elite league in this country, not saying it is anywhere near equivelant, than there is deffinately a higher probability that you will not make it into these leagues.
phil your quote was probably the best one here i know i have made loads of friends going to different clubs around the country but my foundest memories of playing hockey was juniors and because the old altrincham has shut i am not playing on the same team as any of the players that made my hockey experience so fond,
thanks for opning this thread again
robyn

 
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Mike Landers

Re: Development

March 21 2007, 1:57 PM 

Phil - How many times do I have to make it clear that I support the idea of a ENL side? I just am totally against the idea of the Phoenix funding it for no benefit.

--------
Have you ever stopped to think the kids that played under 10s,12s,14s,16s,19s actually may want to continue playing with the people they grew up with as team mates and continue to play as senior players together?????

An ED1 team would provide this and serve people who want to play and people who watched them grow up and develop..
--------

So what is the ENL side - a development sqaud or an old boys club? Can someone explain to me why the Phoenix should even touch something like this? If a team full of mates want to play a competitive standard of hockey, then it why can they not get themselves organised to make it happen? It isn't encumbent on the Phoenix to give up resources, ice time and money to something that has no benefit for them.

Creating an Altrincham ENL as a development squad is a sideshow, a non-starter. Of the current U19s, lets say 5 of them are potential Elite players. (I'm not being derogatory, so bear with me.) That leaves the rest of the squad - at some point they have to accept that a fulltime hockey career isn't going to happen. So they can either continue chasing the dream somewhere else, or play in the ENL. Either way the Elite club is not interested in them. I know this sounds incredibly harsh, but pro sport is a harsh business, with increasing emphasis on the word business.

So if there is a side they can go to and continue playing the sport they love, brilliant, fantastic, go for it. But they are done with the Phoenix, and that path is not one the Phoenix should be involved in. No professional sporting club is a support group.

Rick

------
Mike - your argument has one major flaw in that you're forgetting that the talented juniors may have the ability to play ENL whilst they're still a U16 or U19 player - that's where the development comes in. Yes the ENL team is largely made up of non Elite standard players but they set the context in which a junior can develop with them.

Jason (my usual example) played two years of ENL as an U19. Why do Hull have so many Brits ? Jonker Johnson has been icing them from U14 up in his ENL team.
-------

Jason and Thommo are the exceptions that prove the rule. They simply had nowhere else to play but ENL.

When the Elite league started, it had to pick up the pieces of a completely shattered development system. I fully accept that ISL played a large part in that, but the BNL has got off very lightly for its part in the fiasco. (It was running 8 imports, just two less than the Elite is now.) In the last year of ISL/BNL, there must have been, what, 60? places for British players in the entire top two tiers of British hockey. That, plus the rancour between the leagues, is why most Elite players had to come from ENL.

Now, the ten Elite teams are running with between 6 and 9 Brits each (off the top of my head, with at least Cov and Nottingham more, depending on U19 commitments) and EPL with 4 imports, so call it 10 Brits for each squad in that league. Links are much, much stronger. The available pool of development places are almost tripled. The "stature" for want of a better word of ENL has dropped - it was the only place the EIHL could get Brits from back then, but now the argument that ENL can act as a development league is like saying the ECHL is a decent place to develop NHLers - every so often you do have someone coming from that far down, but they are rare indeed. If even 10% of British EPL players are U19s developing enough to move onto the Elite after a single season, that is 18 new players per year.

If a player is considered to have the Elite potential at U19 level, chances are they are going to leave the U19s and go Elite. From the Phoenix point of view, if they need more seasoning, then EPL is a much better level to do it at. So send them to an EPL side - Telford?

Looking at it right now, March 2006, if an ENL side is better than an EPL side for a players development, why not a couple to Deeside and a couple to Blackburn? There is no Altrincham ENL side. There are two others within reach. Yet again, it comes down to "what is in it for us?" Why should the Phoenix help set up a squad of 15 so that three or four players can develop and the rest are old mates playing a competitive level of hockey?

 
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Icy Blast

Re: Development

March 21 2007, 3:30 PM 

You know what? I was going to leave this..but as others aren't...are you saying that if an onsite ENL side were set up by others the Phoenix would be happy to benefit from it in terms of a few players moving up, but not actually support it in any way?


 
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Mike Landers

Re: Development

March 21 2007, 3:49 PM 

Icy Blast - I'm not even remotely saying what you are accusing me of saying. Which part of "funding it for no benefit" are you having trouble understanding?

 
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Tom

Re: Development

March 21 2007, 3:39 PM 

Mike, I think the point you are missing is that the U19 league isn't of that higher standard compared, now a player's development is highly dependant on the level of players they play against. At some stage you are suggesting that an U19 player (whatever age they maybe) makes the step up to Elite or maybe EPL. Now, I don't think an U19 player can make this jump, they need an intermediate league (of a higher level) to further improve their abilities while they are still under 19. This is the point Rick was making earlier.
Also, another point to consider is that british players recieve very little money in the form of wages until they are proven at Elite level. Now say you are a talented U19 player in Manchester in your last season, you have to go to an EPL side (the nearest being telford?) where I doubt you'll get much money or ice time (as you are unproven at a decent level...) and therefore not even be able to pay for the travel costs!

I think an ENL side is key in a development setup, it gives some form of bridge between the junior side and the higher leagues.
I don't know too much about the junior setup, is it even funded by the phoenix?
An ENL team doesn't really need money from the phoenix, I think the ideal solution would be the phoenix giving the ENL side discounted ice time and the remainder of the money raised through player fees and a small charge of admission to the small number of fans who will attend. I think this would be similar to a lot of ENL teams (Nottingham, Sheffield, Bradford) where the players pay towards the costs.

 
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Mike Landers

Re: Development

March 21 2007, 3:52 PM 

-----
An ENL team doesn't really need money from the phoenix, I think the ideal solution would be the phoenix giving the ENL side discounted ice time and the remainder of the money raised through player fees and a small charge of admission to the small number of fans who will attend.
------

Why would the Phoenix make the decision about discounted ice time? They pay for their ice like everybody else? They are tenants, not owners.

Do people really think that if they want to book ice time, they have to go through Neil Morris?

 
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Icy Blast

Re: Development

March 21 2007, 3:52 PM 

I'm not talking about funding and I've said so before! But if you were to benefit in terms of some players, what about support in kind, e.g. as has been suggested by Tom? Although from what you have said before the ice time is not in your club's remit so perhaps it would have to be something else.

 
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Rick

Re: Development

March 21 2007, 3:55 PM 

Mike

You seem to be continually trying to answer a different question to the rest of us. If you still don't get it (re read this thread with a clear head as a start), perhaps you're better leaving this for the time being.

I'm almost about to lock this thread. If anyone is willing to bang their head against a brick wall and enter into one conversation and receive a reply back to a similar but different conversation, Mike has left his email address there for you to do so.


    
This message has been edited by AcesAces on Mar 21, 2007 4:11 PM


 
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Mike Landers

Re: Development

March 21 2007, 5:39 PM 

I give up. I honestly do. Trevor Robins shifted fewer goalposts.

 
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Rick

Re: Development

March 21 2007, 7:45 PM 

Thanks, Mike.

This thread is now closed unless Nipper finds time for a last word.

 
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