|Rugby League: We need more Michael Coadys
||[Jun. 17th, 2009|11:33 am]
What British rugby league needs is more Michael Coadys.|
Now I've not got a clue whether Leeds' new signing will make the grade, although I've seen him play for Doncaster a couple of times and he looks full of potential.
It's the route by which he has arrived at Headingley that is fascinating.
Coady played his first rugby league for my good friends at the Bristol Sonics, later playing for another RL Conference club, Leicester Phoenix, whilst he was at university at Loughborough.
It is doubtful whether he would ever have gravitated to the game without the existence of the Conference. If anyone ever asks what the point of that competition is, I would suggest that there is your answer.
Just about everywhere in the country, you have a rugby league club within striking distance you can play for. That's where Coady has come from, along with the likes of Darrell Griffin (Oxford), Tony Clubb (Greenwich), Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook (Croydon) and the Thorman brothers (Newcastle).
All these are players from outside the mainstream who would never have come anywhere near our game if not for the development work going on up and down the country.
And we need them if our pool of talent is ever to reach the required depth. I've long had this theory that we will never win anything with a team drawn solely from the M62 corridor.
Time was when we at least had the pick of the best athletes in RL towns from Wigan to Castleford, but you can't count on that now. Kids have so much choice and might opt for something else altogether.
Nor will there ever be a compensating flow of players from rugby union - not once they have got used to being, relatively speaking, over-paid and under-worked.
You have to get them young, show them the attractions of a different game and enough will sign up to make it all worthwhile.
That's why I'll be watching Mike Coady's progress with interest. We need him and plenty more like him.