Phil Gould has brokered the idea of a night semi-professional summer competition in a bid to allow players who have missed out due to COVID-19 get game time, the Sydney Morning Herald has revealed.
With the likes of the NSW Cup abandoned Down Under due to the pandemic, young stars have been unable to showcase their talent which could well have stunted their development.
But Gould has apparently tabled a proposal to get around that problem, taking an idea to the NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo and ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys of a competition of six to eight matches played after the NRL season has finished.
“I actually put a proposal to Andrew Abdo and Peter V’landys yesterday about a summer competition – a combined second-tier under-20s, under-21s type competition – through November, December and maybe a little bit into January where we play six or eight games,” Gould told Wide World of Sports’ Six Tackles with Gus podcast.
“Have a combined Jersey Flegg-NSW Cup for players who haven’t played a lot of football. Even for injured NRL stars who haven’t had a lot of football this year might like to play a couple of games as well.
“We could run a competition for them in those months. It gives an incentive for those fellas who haven’t been training to keep training and prepare themselves for a November competition.
“The sense is footballers haven’t had a lot of football, even at an NRL level. To give them a chance to go back and play some football and then have a couple of weeks off and still have six weeks of training …
“I’ve got to say I got a really good reception to it from Peter and Andrew. It’s in its infancy, and it’s something they will discuss as to whether they do something official.”
Whatever the opinion of such an idea, it is a sensational concept and one which – on the face of it – appears revolutionary in trying to get the game’s brightest talents to step back onto the field in one way or another.