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Long term strategy
Discussion started by Blarney , 06 September, 2020 10:18
Long term strategy
Blarney 06 September, 2020 10:18
Sorry for long post.

With our first year in our new home imminent and lots of division amongst supporters over our recent recruitment I've been thinking about how we can build our squad to be competitive towards the top of the table, rather than kicking around the bottom. If you look at both Exeter and Saracens, they have built squads around home-grown players, with star players that fit the club ethos added in.

I understand completely why we brought in all the expensive players we have, there was a short term need to ensure premiership survival. Now that we have for this year, we need to start developing the longer term squad.

Coaches:
I am happy with Kidney and Kiss. Two proven coaches who have the experience to get us to where we want, if given time. Was interesting to hear that Fisher has been given greater responsibilities, I think he's a rising star that we should be grooming for bigger things. Sadly, I can see Danaher moving on soon - I'm not entirely sure what his role is anymore.

Front row:
Elrington, Hoskins, Goodrick-Clarke, Lovejoy and Cornish are all talents that need game time and development. I'd look to keep Creevy on as long as possible and get everything out of him we can. Say thanks and goodbye to Kepu at the end of his contract and look to bring in another international prop.

Second row:
Coleman has shown that he is a leader we can build our pack around for the next couple of years - but I'm unsure if he'll stick around after that, we've got a big chunk of cap invested in him. Recruitment needed here (we'll see how Simmons shapes up), though Nott has improved and Munga is one for the future.

Back row:
The area of biggest contention on here recently. Tuisue has become very important for us and needs to be signed up for the next 3 years. Cowan deserves to see out his career with us. Now that we've shelled out for O'Brien we should get as much out of him as we can and then say goodbye. The most important thing here is continuing to develop Cooke, Curtis-Harris and O'Donnell and ensuring they want to stay rather than letting them be poached.

Half backs:
Give Brand/Englefield as much experience as possible. Phipps has shown his class, but won't be around in a few years. Meehan has talent but blows too hot and cold. Should be looking to offload Phipps and Meehan and bringing in a top 9 to share the position with the two academy lads.

For me Jackson is starting to show he should be first choice ten for as long as we can keep him. When was the last time we had a ten that could kick, pass, defend and run all at a good level? It's unlikely that any irish team will look to bring him back anytime soon, so we should be tying him in for the next 3-5 years. We need to bring in a decent prem-level back up however, I'm not sure Atkinson is going to cut it.

Centres:
Hepetema, Rona and Williams have all shown to be good players, but the balance is off. With our gameplan seeming to be "spread it wide fast" we need to bring in a big bashing centre who will hold the defence to give the wingers more space.

Back three:
Our highest priority right now should be convincing OHC, Loader and Parton that they are going to be our first choice combination for the next 5 years, paying them as such and not letting them go to Quins/Bath/whoever. We are very lucky to have three talented players all come through at the same time and it will be a massive failure if we don't keep them. Say goodbye to Naholo at the end of his contract, keep Homer for his experience and recruit some squad-level back up.

Re: Long term strategy
shimmieandshake 06 September, 2020 11:19
I wouldn't write off Naholo so soon. If fully fit, he could be devastating. Frustrating so far, but let's see him get a run of games together.

I still really rate Hepetema and think his partnership with Rona should be first choice, but we're definitely light in behind that. TBC and Williams. Who else?

Intrigued by some realistic names you'd want to bring in, at lock and centre especially, and anywhere else?

Re: Long term strategy
SixNineOne 06 September, 2020 12:09
I agree with pretty much all of Blarneyís analysis. Like many others, my main concern is the centres and the second row. I think Hepetema and Rona are a potentially very good combination, but beyond that I see nothing. TBC seems just too fragile and, despite the plaudits heaped on him by others, Iím afraid I canít see Matt Williams as anything other than a make weight. In the second row Munga, from the little Iíve seen of him, looks to have real potential. But it will be interesting to see what we look like with Coleman and Simmons playing consistently together and whether Nott and Mafi are sufficient back up. Donnell and Cooke both look very promising, but I see them both as 6 much in the style of Tom Croft. Thereís quite a lot to be cheerful about, provided we can hang on to our talent, but still lots to do.

Re: Long term strategy
HMRH 06 September, 2020 13:00
Ruan Botha

Re: Long term strategy
BaltiBoy 06 September, 2020 15:16
I agree with most, if not all what has been said above but for me one crucial aspect has been overlooked. This thread so far has solely concentrated on the playing and coaching staff. However it seems to me that more focus and attention needs to be put on LI as an organisation, especially with regard to some of their decision making.

Over the last 10 years we've been dire, and the more and more I think about it the more I have come to the conclusion that the organisation is largely at fault here for a series of terrible decisions. For example:

1) Re-hiring Brian Smith (what do they say, never go back).
2) Appointing BBC CEO with no experience.
3) Hiring the 3 Amigos - again having no experience.
4) Having Venter in charge but running the team via Skype from SA.
5) Having Shaun Edwards as defensive coach but only 1-2 days a week.
6) Our history of purchasing injured & past it players.

These are just some of the really poor decisions our board have made in the last decade (I'm sure you can probably think of many more). Given this it's hardly surprising we've been poor for so long. Teams like Exeter, Sarries (!), and now Sale and Bristol have a clear vision of what and where they want to be. Our vision, at least to me still seems somewhat muddied, communication from the club is still very poor, we are currently homeless, and who realistically knows what Brentford will bring.

In terms of long term strategy the key for me is stability. Thus I would:

1) Give K&K as much time as they need - they're by far the best coaches LI could ever hope to attract.
2) Make Brenford a 'proper' home. Ensure that on match day it feels like LI's ground and not an empty shell like the Madstad.
3) Prioritise and focus on the academy boys. Yes they are far from the finished article but they have certainly shown more commitment and endeavour than others. We must ensure we look after them, they are the future of LI.
4) Stop panic buying and giving pay checks out to journey men who see it as their final source of income.
5) Build on what we have. When everyone is fit (big if I know) I genuinely think we have enough not to be the whipping boys of the league.

I know what I have said is obvious to many of you but my main point is that we just can't keep focusing on our players and coaches. The organisation and how its run needs to vastly improve its decision making if we are going to eventually have a stable club that can genuinely be considered a top 6 contender. Unfortunately as it stands at the moment we are a long way off!



Cheers & Beers
BB

Re: Long term strategy
Blarney 06 September, 2020 15:46
Baltiboy, I agree with that also.

Brentford is a fresh start. The club must absolutely ensure that they do not take existing and potential fans for granted (as they have for the last 8 years or so of the MadStad era). If they hope to attract the Irish diaspora, they need to have a clear strategy to do so, not just hoping that the name will bring them in.

We have to be more successful on the pitch, and make matchdays the fun, all-inclusive experiences they were in the early Reading days. That combination will get fans to come and keep coming.

Re: Long term strategy
SixNineOne 06 September, 2020 16:26
I agree that we need to make Brentford feel like a real home. The YouTube video on one of the other threads shows that itís a really impressive stadium and, if we can get it right, it should have a much better feel than MadStad. Importantly, it looks like itís not compartmentalised like MadStad, so the fans can all mix freely (once itís permitted). Weíre going to have to do a lot of work on the match day branding as thereís a lot of red in the decor. I know itís heresy to say this, but could we think about incorporating some red into our home strip, eg green shirt with red flashes or red shorts, to make it look like we really belong there?

Re: Long term strategy
HMRH 06 September, 2020 18:03
Journeymen? Who are you calling out? Whilst Iím not happy with our situation and the losing streak thereís not one player I feel isnít giving their all. We donít play HC rugby so attracting top players is hard and until recently we couldnít afford them anyway. Covid got us hard and weíve lost momentum and weíve lost players that would have made a difference

So who are you saying are the journeymen?

Re: Long term strategy
BaltiBoy 06 September, 2020 18:39
Quote:
HMRH
Journeymen? Who are you calling out? Whilst Iím not happy with our situation and the losing streak thereís not one player I feel isnít giving their all. We donít play HC rugby so attracting top players is hard and until recently we couldnít afford them anyway. Covid got us hard and weíve lost momentum and weíve lost players that would have made a difference
So who are you saying are the journeymen?

I'm not necessarily referring to any of the players we have currently, I agree that our current crop are giving 100% as illustrated by my post after the Glos game.

My point rather was that over the last decade we have signed some players who in my opinion were past their best and in hindsight probably shouldn't have signed them. I'm sure some of the more vocal members on this board will happily supply you with some names.

I guess what I'm saying is that our recruitment hasn't always been as good as it could have been and thus I would like to see an improvement in this area in the long term. But then hindsight is a wonderful thing.



Cheers & Beers
BB



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2020 18:43 by BaltiBoy.

Re: Long term strategy
Nick4219 06 September, 2020 20:26
I agree with a lot of the posts. I do think the match day experience at Brentford needs to echo the experience we used to get at the Mad Stad from the 2002-2009 era.

Craic, pre and post match with players and coaches freely mixing with the support was always good to see and made the match day and the feeling of being an Irish supporter unique.

I donít think we need to make wholesale changes to the squad, our strongest players should stay put if we can keep them, we need to get rid of the weaker squad level players that donít contribute much. Itís harsh but I donít think Motu Matu is a good fit for us. Ben Meehan has been good for us and was an important player in our Championship campaign but I donít feel heís quite at the level we need in the Premiership. If only Phipps was a few years younger we could keep him and develop Brand and Englefield to support and eventually take over.

We need some grizzly front rowers to enhance Creevy and Kepu, a second row would be good and maybe a creative/ massive centre. Rona and Hepetema work well together but we need some back up for injuries/unavailability.

I think the management recognises Brentford is the chance to reset and re brand the squad and Iím hopeful if we get a good start next year it will see an improvement.

Discounted ticketing to get the ball rolling would see the crowds in.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/09/2020 20:26 by Nick4219.

Re: Long term strategy
franciscorrigan 06 September, 2020 22:54
691 I believe the seating at Brentford has been designed in a variety of colours so that the ground appears full, even when half empty, with nothing really predominant. So, hopefully, your heretical request for red in the team strip shoouldn't be necessarysmileys with beer(Sm63)

Re: Long term strategy
SixNineOne 07 September, 2020 07:29
From the pictures and videos Iíve seen, red still seems to be predominant in the seating even though they are multi-coloured to provide the illusion of a full stadium to the cameras. I certainly didnít notice any green seats. I was also struck by the fact that in the walkways under the stands much of the metalwork was painted red, so Iím still gunning for a touch of red in our strip next year, if only to liven up the monochrome green we seem to have adopted in recent years!

Re: Long term strategy
SixNineOne 07 September, 2020 07:42
Just had another look at the video - in fact there are some green seats, so will they command a premium ticket price?!

Re: Long term strategy
Jonny_C 07 September, 2020 08:18
It wouldnít be too much of a leap to have red flashes on the kit. Irish have always had red on the kit, look at the badge!

Re: Long term strategy
x_ile 07 September, 2020 10:29
Perhaps a short term strategy might be useful. Winning the odd game here and there could be a good start. (Sm160)

Re: Long term strategy
Ruckingood 07 September, 2020 12:16
[quote shimmieandshake]I wouldn't write off Naholo so soon. If fully fit, he could be devastating. Frustrating so far, but let's see him get a run of games together./quote]

Naholo is cooked.. even after surgery his knee is 65% and I doubt we will see him at his best again. In addition, SOB is fragile but Coleman is on the mend and will be ready for October/Nov season start

Re: Long term strategy
shimmieandshake 07 September, 2020 12:30
[quote Ruckingood][quote shimmieandshake]I wouldn't write off Naholo so soon. If fully fit, he could be devastating. Frustrating so far, but let's see him get a run of games together./quote]

Naholo is cooked.. even after surgery his knee is 65% and I doubt we will see him at his best again. In addition, SOB is fragile but Coleman is on the mend and will be ready for October/Nov season start[/quote]

Ahhh jaysus. I really wish this didn't come from such a reliable source.

Definitely dashed my optimism. I wonder what the Naholo insurance situation would be - probably zilch if 65% is still good enough to play, I suppose. Intrigued, also, by how the knee looked on the initial medical. Hope this was another dose of dire luck rather than a misguided gamble.

Good news about Coleman though.

Re: Long term strategy
John Tee 07 September, 2020 12:45
I don't know too much about your current team but no one regards you as a walk over, which wasnt the case for many teams hovering just around the relegation zone in the not too distant past.
Relegation isn't an issue next year and apart from Chiefs on current form, i think everyone is beatable and that could apply to next season too.
That could make it the most competitive league for many a year

Re: Long term strategy
Exilepaul 07 September, 2020 14:43
When we got promoted we were like children in a sweet shop and just grabbed anything that looked nice there was no "long term strategy" it was all above getting to brentford as a premiership club

Creevey 35
Dell 28
Kepu 34
Coleman 28
Simmonds 31
Mafi 30
SOB 33
Phipps 31
Jackson 28
Rona 28
Naholo 29
Homer 30
Norton 32

Give it 2 seasons and hardly any of these players will be here in my opinion which is why i say recruitment is a shambles and the squad will need the cheque book thrown at it again to keep our heads above water, theres nothing long term in our coaches aswell and if they let the likes of Loader walk out the door that's when I really will get disillusioned.

Re: Long term strategy
GHA 07 September, 2020 14:55
At least four of those 15 weren't signed when we got promoted were they Paul?

You mean you aren't disillusioned already?

(Sm120)


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