I don’t like the mindset of British Rugby League players.
I think from a very early age they are built up to be something they are not. I think their priorities are completely skewed and I think they have no idea about basic skills of the game, and they generally don’t care about their standing in the game.
Outside of a handful of England players over the last decade, most English players are content to find somewhere nice and cozy, surround themselves with yes men and be famous in their own little town for a few years.
That is where Richie Myler comes into the frame.
I always give young British players a look over, see if they have anything to be excited about, after all these are the players who Great Britain/England will be running out in a few years time.
Myler, like most youngsters, just seems like you’re run of the mill Pommy player to me.
He plays the part well, kind of like an actor. He can say the right things, he kinda know what it should look like he is doing. Technically he is completely terrible. Kicking, passing, reading defense, tackling, I don’t see anything in this kid that tells me he has something special.
Set all that side though and lets just pretend this kid does have something. Lets just say he is going to step up and have a very solid career.
Right now he is 19 years old, at this stage of a young halfback career, even a really good one, he should be a nobody. Even the most skilled youngsters at 19 have years worth of learning to do and experience to gain before they even know what it takes to be a first grade halfback.
Even so, he has played for England, but lets face it, they need to try something.
So this young kid with lots to learn and lots to experience is playing for Salford. He has a year left on his contract but its obvious he wants out.
Warrington pay £200,000 (AU$387,000) just for the right to sign him. They sign him to a ridiculous 4 year deal.
What does that do to a kid?
At 19, he is just finishing his first season in the top grade, and already he has signed a massive long term deal and played for England.
On moving to Warrington Myler said “I wanted a long contract at a very ambitious club, a club that’s going to go places. I obviously saw Warrington as one of those clubs.”
Aren’t all clubs ambitious? What is an unambitious club? Everyone knows I’m not Salford fan but, even Salford have dreams of building a good squad and one day winning Super League. Surely Salford, along with many lower table clubs, are the most ambitious of all Super League clubs!
That leads me to another comment Myler has made: “Every rugby league player wants to win everything he’s involved in and I see my best opportunity here.”
Juts doesn’t sit well with me at all. Here is a kid, too young to tell what the future holds for him, getting paid big money over a long contract to walk out on his club and go to a team that’s throwing around more money that I think could possibly be available under the salary cap.
He takes a backhander to the club that gave him his SL debut, he walks into a side flushed with money and bought talent, the current Challenge Cup Winners…..
Where is the achievement here?
This is the mentality of British players, and its ingrained in English sport. Show some promise, get a huge contract, move to big club. Thats it!
I am all for players getting as much money as they can, always have been. But this is wrong, thing is not good for the game, this is not good for Warrington, this is not good for Richie Myler.
he would end up getting paid either way. There are no halfbacks in the British game. He could have no skill at all and play Super League for another 15 years, money is never going to be a problem for thing young man.
His development as a player though goes out the window. What could his drive possibly be now. He has had it all handed to him in such a short space of time, how could he ever possibly know how much hard work is needed to REALLY be a top player?
Give me the player who has had to fight and scrap for everything he achieves. The one who goes to his clubs, gets a good contract and tells the big clubs to piss off. Give me the player who wants to help be a building block, who see’s the clubs ambition as his own, who isn’t there to walk onto the bus that already going somewhere, but who want’s to be the driver and take his team mates and the club with him.
With this mentality in the English game coupled with coaching and technical problems, there is just little sign of any hope for the game in Britain to improve at all.
When you look at the fight and effort and cut throat nature of the game in the Southern Hemisphere, how some players leave their countries to head to Australia as a teenager just for the chance to maybe one day become a professional Rugby League player, and then you see it handed to another kid in England, how can both of these players have the same drive to improve, to succeed and to win?
Its two different worlds right now. Players in England just have no idea of what it really means to be ambitious and to strive to be a winner.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com