Official Blayke Brailey

burgess1978

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Heh sounds obvious I know but I can't speak from experience on the league front as I only played at school boys level and never trialed for reps or anything. It sounds like this happened to you or a son ..... or Chad (same thing??) though!!! haha ;)

Hockey was my main competitive club sport through my teenage and early 20's years.

I was a very good young goal keeper at this point (eventually climbing up into the higher mens grades alongside my regular club side duties over the seasons. Even played some premier league which was essentially the 1st & 2nd grade comps (there were multiple layers of leagues with grade tiers within them) and some quasi international games.

As a teenager they used to run these big weekend carnivals out Sutho way and other places where your club would play multiple games over the course of a weekend sometimes against teams in a older age group as well.

I carved that carnival weekend up, dunno if I had more than a goal put on me even against better or older teams and made some pretty ludicrous saves in a particular game.

A man walks up to me post game who I know was a State selector and asked me why I'm not playing reps and my reply to him was "Because I don't play for Glebe" The blokes face said it all.

He didn't appreciate my reply but the selection panels and coaches were stacked with Glebe & Sutho staff (2 of the strongest and most influential clubs in Sydney) and you were given no favours as an outsider and it was tough to get noticed at trial days by the biased judges who seemed to have made up their minds at breakfast that morning.

It pissed me off as I knew the majority of other keepers around me were inferior and weren't playing in the higher mens grades on the side.

When a coach and current player from my club was eventually put on the team to access keepers at trial days I made the Sydney rep team straight away. A benefit of bias for myself this time perhaps but we were accessed fairly and I deserved to be in that group.

There were multiple squads and we were training every week for State try outs, I had some good competition but I reckon I was out performing them on the training field fairly consistently.

So you know what the shits did come State try outs? (which were basically state wide rep team hunger games where you need to perform then and there and outshine those around you). They stick me on this stacked team, easily the best squad who are matched up with inferior opposition in games and I see just 2 shots on me.

So basically little to no opportunity and some average keeper who turns out to be the son of a selector goes through and makes the State team. lol

I learnt early about how important it is who you know. I could have stuck it out longer over the years and gone pretty far but soon after started to lose the passion and studies, injury ect started to get in the way as well. Not much money in the sport either but there was always the allure of the national team and playing in the Olympics. Plenty of people tried to talk me into staying on.

I guess the politics become somewhat less relevant at the professional levels of sport such as NRL where money and famous major competitions are at stake and/or you are a late bloomer being given a chance to fill a role. But starting out and building your profile, trying to break through can be rough when the playing field isn't level and the agendas are stacked for someone else's benefit.

Yep. This is how they roll.

Not me or my son btw. I’ve just watched a lot of junior reps and top level games for 12’s-15’s. Same story wherever you go. Know the selector = you are a shoe in.
 

stormshark

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I liked reading,Gards.Well done,lots in there resonates from my remote observations.In my view it's better to be in the "Possibles" if yr a gun defender(ie yr Goalkeeper take).Funny funny things happen in final trials however, and ALWAYS satisfying in the odd final trial upset, when the sometimes rag tag,individuals, thrown together opposition, beat the coached long term "Probables" .Then the"Selection" fun starts.
 

burgess1978

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Here's one that did happen to me. Not rep-related, but "who you know".

When I played Colts (u19) we made the preliminary final. We were a good team. Two Qld u19 reps, one of whom went on to NRL (he didn't play many NRL games). Without tooting my own horn too much I'm going to say that I was a top 5 or 6 player on that team. I was in a playmaking position, and had played every minute of the season to this point.

With about 15 minutes to go, and leading 18-4, I was replaced by the son of the club president... who hadn't previously been part of the team and who none of us had met all year prior to game day. The opposition then ran in three tries, we lost the game and missed the GF. Our opposition that day (Redcliffe - coached by Anthony Griffin) went on to win it.

As it turns out, when we had won the previous week the president asked that his son (who was in the u18 team at our associated junior club) sit on the bench... and at 18-4 with the game "comfortably in hand" he went to our coach and demanded that his son go on and play in my position.

Now - did we lose because I wasn't there? Probably not.
Would we have had a better chance with me on the field than some kid who had never played a colts game and who nobody knew? I'm going to say yes.

Total clusterfuck orchestrated by the club administration going over the coach's head to look after their own kid.
 

burgess1978

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I liked reading Cards.Well done,lots in there resonates from my remote observations.In my view it's better to be in the "Possibles" if yr a gun defender(ie yr Goalkeeper take).Funny funny things happen in final trials however, and ALWAYS satisfying in the odd final trial upset, when sometimes rag tag thrown together opposition, beat the coached long term "Probables" .Then the"Selection" fun starts.
It's actually pretty common for the Possibles to beat the Probables. Another coach I know has a theory on this. He reckons that because rep footy encourages selfish behaviour the kids with more rep experience don't shift the ball as often or as willingly. The Possibles haven't been coached to be greedy, so play properly.
 

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What gets me about these stories is don’t those guys realise how stupid they look when they are so obviously biased?

The arrogance must be through the roof with some of these guys.

I’ve never come across it personally because I’ve never been good enough to try out for any rep team in any sport.

Closest I’ve come was when I took my son down to the Sutherland Under 10s rep trials for cricket a couple of years ago. I actually recognised a few of the selectors, I had played against them in park cricket. One of them was particularly familiar as I’d bowled him out twice in one day when I took 13 wickets in a day after making them follow on.

He was now affiliated with the Engadine Club and the other selector was from Gymea. It was amusing to see the final list come out with the majority of kids chosen from these two clubs. They are pretty strong clubs I know but still.

This is not sour grapes about my boy, it was just experience for him but very easy to see how bias does play a big part.
 

burgess1978

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What gets me about these stories is don’t those guys realise how stupid they look when they are so obviously biased?

The arrogance must be through the roof with some of these guys.

I’ve never come across it personally because I’ve never been good enough to try out for any rep team in any sport.

Closest I’ve come was when I took my son down to the Sutherland Under 10s rep trials for cricket a couple of years ago. I actually recognised a few of the selectors, I had played against them in park cricket. One of them was particularly familiar as I’d bowled him out twice in one day when I took 13 wickets in a day after making them follow on.

He was now affiliated with the Engadine Club and the other selector was from Gymea. It was amusing to see the final list come out with the majority of kids chosen from these two clubs. They are pretty strong clubs I know but still.

This is not sour grapes about my boy, it was just experience for him but very easy to see how bias does play a big part.
Is that all? Only 13?

I don’t even think a game is necessarily the way to go as the primary measure. You want to see the kids in certain game situations - but you could measure that without staging a game.

You still want them to play the game - but only to determine effort.
 
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egg

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You mean like if there is a school rep team and the selector happens to be the coach of one of the local schools, and the rep team ends up being half made up from that school (including picking a 7 who can't pass so nobody other than the middle 6 players touch the ball the whole game)? Nah - that never happens ;)

From what I understand, the selectors are typically given a list of kids by the club/coach/league/school to watch in any rep trial. If you are the best on the park and not on that list you have 0% chance of being picked (unless they already know you).

They are also RIDICULOUSLY rigid with positions. I've seen very good players turned away from even trialling because "we've already got someone for that spot".

Having an NRL/QRL/NSWRL dad certainly doesn't hurt either. Cam Smith's son was selected for a state u12 rep carnival this year. He'd never even played a game of Rugby League before the trials - and he isn't very good.

I think perhaps hold back a little on Cam Smith's son assessment
By all reports mentally way above his age and does have ability .( has footy smarts )
He's in a GREAT coaching environment at Currumbin Eagles .
Allowing him play various positions. ( mainly halves )
But if he settles on hooker will kill it
Doesn't get pushed by his dad , who is just letting him enjoy the game .
He goes good , someone's seen something
 

burgess1978

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I think perhaps hold back a little on Cam Smith's son assessment
By all reports mentally way above his age and does have ability .( has footy smarts )
He's in a GREAT coaching environment at Currumbin Eagles .
Allowing him play various positions. ( mainly halves )
But if he settles on hooker will kill it
Doesn't get pushed by his dad , who is just letting him enjoy the game .
He goes good , someone's seen something
He's 12 mate. I'm not sending him to the junk pile. What I'm saying is that he played poorly at the carnival. Could be that he had a bad coach or his teammates didn't do as they were told - I don't know. There is absolutely zero chance he was picked based on his performance that day alone though, which is kind of the point. Someone saw something in him beforehand and already had their mind made up.
 
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Sparkles

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He's 12 mate. I'm not sending him to the junk pile. What I'm saying is that he played poorly at the carnival. Could be that he had a bad coach or his teammates didn't do as they were told - I don't know. There is absolutely zero chance he was picked based on his performance that day alone though, which is kind of the point. Someone saw something in him beforehand and already had their mind made up.
I believe his mum received one of these after the game...
13024936820766.jpg
 

burgess1978

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Fair call mate
I think it is only a matter of time before we see the schools move on from the "play a rep trial" selection method - or at least I hope so.

NRL have realised it is not the best way to do things. Now the message just has to filter down to other leagues and the schools system.

QRL model moving forward is:
- No rep teams for ages 15 and below.
- u13's-u15's can join a local development program, which is not selection based. Sign up and you are in. Kids learn some footy, general fitness/health, and all do L1 coach, ref and trainer certs as part of it. The idea here is that a child may not have been seen yet as being "talented" but he is keen to learn more than just what they are getting from his club training, and he/she is committed to turning up.
- Junior Rep teams start at 16's with a 6-8 week comp in March/April played by the Q Cup clubs (mostly). Each club selects a squad combined from their junior feeders, play out the comp, and at the end of April the players return to their junior clubs (this is like Harold Matthews)
- There is a Qld team selected for u16's and u18's (to align with NSW)
- No Qld team for 17's, but they play City vs Country

More from the research:
The DMSP indicates that balancing the deliberate play and deliberate practice in the early adolescence is the beginning of the specialising years. Baker, Côté and Abernethy (2003) supported the delay in specialisation and discovered that the relationship between sport-specific training and undertaking additional activities was of a negative nature, thus encouraging diverse involvement in activity and adjourning sport-specific practice beyond the age of 12. Doing so was found to be more beneficial for the development of expert athletes.
i.e. The younger you introduce specialised training and selection-based teams, the more likely players are to lose interest in the sport, and the less likely they are to become good later in life.
 
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Sparkles

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I think it is only a matter of time before we see the schools move on from the "play a rep trial" selection method - or at least I hope so.

NRL have realised it is not the best way to do things. Now the message just has to filter down to other leagues and the schools system.

QRL model moving forward is:
- No rep teams for ages 15 and below.
- u13's-u15's can join a local development program, which is not selection based. Sign up and you are in. Kids learn some footy, general fitness/health, and all do L1 coach, ref and trainer certs as part of it. The idea here is that a child may not have been seen yet as being "talented" but he is keen to learn more than just what they are getting from his club training, and he/she is committed to turning up.
- Junior Rep teams start at 16's with a 6-8 week comp in March/April played by the Q Cup clubs (mostly). Each club selects a squad combined from their junior feeders, play out the comp, and at the end of April the players return to their junior clubs (this is like Harold Matthews)
- There is a Qld team selected for u16's and u18's (to align with NSW)
- No Qld team for 17's, but they play City vs Country

More from the research:

i.e. The younger you introduce specialised training and selection-based teams, the more likely players are to lose interest in the sport, and the less likely they are to become good later in life.
That's interesting, not that I'm expecting my young bloke to play. My 4yo daughter on the other hand has developed a lethal fend...
How does that compare to Rugby? Could it be a bit of a carrot to play that boring code just because they'd get rep honours?
 

burgess1978

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That's interesting, not that I'm expecting my young bloke to play. My 4yo daughter on the other hand has developed a lethal fend...
How does that compare to Rugby? Could it be a bit of a carrot to play that boring code just because they'd get rep honours?
No idea. If my boy switches to Rugby I'll be sure to find out for him just prior to packing his bags and changing the locks ;)

RU is heavily school-based up here. Not sure about rep, but selection-based teams and early specialisation are definitely big. From what I can tell from talking to Rugby parents (I'm related to one. I'm obliged to) club Rugby is a lot more community/development focused than the schools.
 
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Sparkles

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No idea. If my boy switches to Rugby I'll be sure to find out for him just prior to packing his bags and changing the locks ;)

RU is heavily school-based up here. Not sure about rep, but selection-based teams and early specialisation are definitely big. From what I can tell from talking to Rugby parents (I'm related to one. I'm obliged to) club Rugby is a lot more community/development focused than the schools.
I'll do my best not to hold it against you.

I don't hear much about the game here in general, but even less about lower grades or schoolboy. Probably because the schools where they play are quasi-cults that don't like to let the outside world in too often...
 

Blair

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On the nepotism thread, when I was playing in the 90s Barry Russell was one of the scouts for junior sharks teams. He came down to a few of our games and gave me and a couple other players a tap on the shoulder that we were in line for a call up.
I’m the end John Langs son (not Martin) got the call up with a couple of his mates - none had much talent. Still stings.
I will add that after going into the development system these fellas did come out of it significantly better players.
 
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