DUAL REGISTRATION: Chairman Speaks Out!
Wednesday 20th March 2013
Hornets Chairman Mark Wynn
It is good to have a healthy debate; it shows we are passionate about our clubs and our game.
For the debate to be of benefit though it has to be open, honest and balanced. From Hornets perspective we don`t think that has happened.
Sometimes we are all blinded by our own view points and prejudices, and the loudest voice is the one who gets heard. But it has come to a point when we have to put our view point across, to shout as loud as those opposed to our link up with St. Helens and to counter what at times has been shockingly poor journalism.
The worst case of this happened when we played Oldham at Whitebank, a game we lost.
Some reports blamed the loss on the break up of our half back pairing of the Ginger General Paul Crook and his side kick Ste Roper.
The more extreme stories doing the rounds were that Nathan Brown had picked the Hornets team and had imposed Lee Gaskell at stand off!
The only problem with either of these theories is that although Lee Gaskell`s name was on the team sheet as stand off, he didn't actually play there. The Crook/Roper partnership wasn`t broken up!
I find it incredible that people who are actually paid to write about the game couldn`t tell that Gaskell wasn`t stand off. But as I have already mentioned sometimes prejudices can blind people to the facts.
Bad as that was it doesn`t compare to the drivel spouted by Martin Sadler.
Now Martin is the editor/boss at League Publications, the owners of the Rugby Leaguer/League Express, Rugby League World Magazine and TotalRL website and forums.
It could be argued that Martin is the most influential journalist in the game because of the sway he has over the Rugby League Trade Press.
But after the Oldham game Sadler wrote that Lee Gaskell had been sent to Hornets as a punishment and that he had had a shocker as a result.
He wrote this even though he never attended the game, hadn`t watched it on DVD, hadn`t spoken with the player, hadn`t spoken with the coaching staff of either Hornets or Saints, or anyone from the board or office at either club.
Poor, lazy journalism like that doesn`t do the game any good, and it isn`t conducive to a healthy debate on the subject of duel reg.
For the record Lee Gaskell was not due to play for us at North Wales, but took it upon himself to attend Hornets training and make himself available. His attitude impressed the coaching staff and, coupled with other players not being able to train it was decided to select him at centre, where he scored two tries and was a stand out.
Ian Talbot is the Head Coach of Rochdale Hornets. He is ultimately judged on his team's results and to suggest that he is letting someone else pick his team doesn't make sense. Why would Ian risk his team losing and his reputation for the benefit of St Helens RLFC? Yes he is employed as a Community Coach during the day with Saints, but his coaching role with Rochdale Hornets is a separate one, and Ian knows where to draw the line between the two.
Dual Registration is a new process and will need time to bed in. No one has an instruction manual on how to get the best out of it, so there will no doubt be lessons to learn, but we are positive it can work to the benefit of both parties and all we ask is for constructive, fair journalism and time to work out a system that was imposed on us.