Whatever happened to the Wests in the Wests Tiger

A very well written article by Keith Topolski about the harsh treatment of the Western Suburbs faction of this merger. A very sad thing.


<big>Editorial: Whatever happened to the Wests in the Wests Tigers?
by Keith Topolski</big>



http://www.rleague.com/content/article.php?id=43472


Sunday’s embarrassing capitulation-near-loss by the Wests Tigers against Parramatta is not merely a one-off incident. It is, in fact, representative of what the powers that be at the Wests Tigers have done to the club since its inception in late 1999.

For those newcomers, the ‘Tigers’ brand is not the be all and end all of the club.

In fact, before the advent of the Wests Tigers, two separate clubs stood proudly. Rival clubs, never haters of each other, who, indeed, faced off in the 1948 premiership decider.

The Western Suburbs Magpies won that day, defeating the Balmain Tigers, and the Magpies won on the final occasion the clubs faced off, on a rather wintery day at Campbelltown in June 1999, by 18-12. Sadly, it was the final occasion the Magpies would taste success in the top grade.

Since the joint venture agreement, both Balmain and Western Suburbs were left to their own devices outside the NRL setup.

Both sides would administer their own junior rep teams, and would continue to participate as separate entities in the senior NSWRL competition, currently the NSW Cup.

Sadly, the joint venture which won the Grand Final of 2005 is no more.

In 2005, both Western Suburbs and Balmain competed, and both were supplied with players and funding from the Wests Tigers.

Double the teams meant double the depth.

Well, not for Tim Sheens apparently.

For Sheens, only one feeder club was acceptable, because he felt, for some reason, that having teammates competing against each other in the lower grades would introduce friction into the camp.

Yes Tim, that is obviously the case, because State of Origin did such a good job at killing club football, and vice versa.

In the end, Sheens chose Balmain as his exclusive feeder club. Why? Because Western Suburbs dared to want the legal agreement honoured. Nothing more, nothing less.

If the Magpies wanted back into the big time, then maybe Sheens may have had a point, but no, nothing of the sort happened.

So Western Suburbs no longer warranted any attention from Mr Sheens.

Well, that was a nasty pill to swallow, but hardcore Magpies moved on, accepting that we would now be simply a breeding ground for talent, or even a halfway house for players looking for a second chance.

All things being equal, it was an outcome which was acceptable, as we continued to survive and hum along.

Enter Stephen Humphreys.

We know the history surrounding what his father did to the game in the 1980s, but everyone forgets that it was Western Suburbs and Newtown on the receiving end of Kevin’s reign of terror.

Fast forward from 1983 to Humphreys’ appointment in 2009, and the attitudes of Balmain have not changed one iota.

After Western Suburbs were stripped of their feeder club status, they continued, against all odds, to thrive.

In 2009, they notched up a 68-4 win over the Central Coast (Melbourne feeder) in week one of the finals before bravely bowing out, then in 2010 fell one game short of the Grand Final, going down by eight points to Canterbury, who proceeded to slaughter Balmain 30-0 in the decider.

Last year, the team finished one win short of the eight, pipped by Balmain by virtue of the fact that Balmain had three byes to the Magpies two.

One might consider this just whingeing from a Magpie diehard, but the treatment dished out to the Magpies since last season has been nothing short of embarrassing for an NRL club which prides itself on being a feeling, community minded club.

After a meeting of the ‘minds’ (And I use the term minds loosely) between Sheens, Humphreys and other powers that be, the decision was taken to have a single NSW Cup team, Wests Tigers, for this season.

This meant that, for Western Suburbs, no guarantees were available to their coaching staff or players.

Subsequently, many went to other clubs, with a handful, such as Andrew Everingham and Mitch Achurch, finding their way to the NRL this season.

So, what were the Magpies to do, if not just roll over and die?

The board of the Magpies sought to begin talks with Canberra, Melbourne and even St. George-Illawarra (I say even because of the Wests-St George history) with a view to Western Suburbs linking with those NRL teams.

What was the reaction of Mr Humphreys? To say he was pissed would be an understatement.

What else did he expect? Does he, or any of his cronies, truly expect a club that has endured more hits than Elvis and the Beatles combined to just give up because someone tells them to?

Such love from a parent company does not augur well for a steady and respectful relationship between partners, but clearly the thoughts of Sheens and Humphreys don’t include a booming growth sector in the Macarthur.

Sadly, this debacle of debauchery by Concord has seen Western Suburbs stripped of any competitiveness so far this season.

An average of almost 60 points per game conceded, and an inability to register 100 points on the board even after eight games makes it difficult to watch for even the most ardent Magpie fans, like myself.

The boys are trying hard, the coaching staff is trying hard, but we are effectively children who have our parents mooching off us, and it’s a travesty of justice.

What we, as Western Suburbs fans, want, is not the World. While fancy inner city types may take after James Bond and cry The World Is Not Enough, we from the West just want a fair crack.

Ultimately, we would love to be a feeder club into the Wests Tigers again, but we recognise that Tim Sheens calls the shots on a football level.

Rightly or wrongly, and based on this season he is clearly wrong, this is something which we must live with.

What is NOT too much to ask, though, is for the Western Suburbs Football Club to be treated with respect and dignity.

Removing the Magpie from the gear of Western Suburbs Magpies Junior Rep players to be replaced by a Wests Tiger is a bit rich.

All we ask is that Stephen Humphreys honour the terms of a legal document, spelling out how the joint venture between Balmain and Wests is effective at NRL level ONLY.

Once this is accepted, we can get on with seeing Western Suburbs perform with pride again, as stability and confidence returns to our proud club.

Western Suburbs does not want, and has never asked for, preferential treatment.

All the Magpies want is a fair go, just as Balmain have received.

After all, we are the WESTS in the Wests Tigers.

Lets keep the debate respectful please.

What a crock !
How has the game against Parramatta got anything to do with the problems relating to the merger?
Once you start denigrating people on a personal level (eg. meeting of minds) instead of basing your argument solely on facts you start to lose people.
You expect the other half of the venture to support your cause how?
By gloating over past victories by Wests over Balmain - and even by Canterbury over Balmain in a 2010 NSW Cup GF.
And , no , all Balmain supporters aren’t “fancy inner city types”.
I disagree with a lot of things that have happened regards the Balmain and Wests juniors too - but you say people don’t care about Wests and in the next breath prove you don’t care (or seems more that you dislike) Balmain.
Sheens and Humphreys are not “Balmain”.
If you expect support then it might help if you didn’t alienate half of the people who might actually care about your problem.

More Magpie whinging. It never stops.

I was considering going through and debating this “article” point by point.

That was until I got to the same old bile spewed about the Wests Tigers CEO, hidden agendas.

A’Church was signed the middle of last year and Everingham was looking for a NRL shot. To say they left because of the Magpies situation is ludicrous.

The revision of history to claim the moves to approach the Raiders or Dragons were last resort is an abject lie. It was a move to try and force the Wests Tigers to annoint the Western Suburb club as the solitary feeder.

There will be a Wests Tigers side in the NSW State Cup next season. of that I am certain.

On the issue of the junior rep sides my understanding was that the Magpie remained on the jersey but the Wests Tigers logo was on the sleaves. Maybe my eyes deceived me when I saw them this year

Sweet Jesus hear we go again. Let’s open the gates for another dose. :brick:

@hybrid_tiger:

More Magpie whinging. It never stops.

I think we have earned the right to whinge . How senior rugby league for Wests is going to end up is a disgrace to all parties involved .

I’m all for Wests Tigers throughout the whole sytem in 2013 , don’t get me wrong Hybrid but what is happening to the Wests NSW cup side should never been allowed to happen and many people should be ashamed for letting it happen

@happy tiger:

I’m all for Wests Tigers throughout the whole sytem in 2013 , don’t get me wrong Hybrid but what is happening to the Wests NSW cup side should never been allowed to happen and many people should be ashamed for letting it happen

Agreed and this article now places attention on the performances of Western Suburbs in the State Cup. Not good publicity for Wests Tigers and specifically, Humphreys and Sheens.

I hope everyone who is dismayed and outraged by the poor treatment that the Wests Magpies receive actually attend their games. How dumb would your outrage be if you didn’t.


Posted using RoarFEED 2012

@tiga4eva:

I hope everyone who is dismayed and outraged by the poor treatment that the Wests Magpies receive actually attend their games. How dumb would your outrage be if you didn’t.


Posted using RoarFEED 2012

If I lived 2000 kms closer I would probably be at WT and WM games if possible

@smeghead:

I was considering going through and debating this “article” point by point.

That was until I got to the same old bile spewed about the Wests Tigers CEO, hidden agendas.

A’Church was signed the middle of last year and Everingham was looking for a NRL shot. To say they left because of the Magpies situation is ludicrous.

The revision of history to claim the moves to approach the Raiders or Dragons were last resort is an abject lie. It was a move to try and force the Wests Tigers to annoint the Western Suburb club as the solitary feeder.

There will be a Wests Tigers side in the NSW State Cup next season. of that I am certain.

On the issue of the junior rep sides my understanding was that the Magpie remained on the jersey but the Wests Tigers logo was on the sleaves. Maybe my eyes deceived me when I saw them this year

This info is all good and well.

But my question to you is - what makes your take on the above points any more valid than Keiths?

I stopped reading when they mentioned Stephen’s father, as if to insinuate that Western Suburbs treatment is of a genetically inherited design.

I can state for a fact that the one State Cup entity was supposed to be named Wests Tigers this year, however the insistence that a Western Suburbs team was to be entered put the kaibosh on this as the home games were to be split between Leichhardt and CSS.

Next season the team will be named Wests Tigers.

@Centaur:

This info is all good and well.

But my question to you is - what makes your take on the above points any more valid than Keiths?

I would say that The revision of history to claim the moves to approach the Raiders or Dragons were last resort is an abject lie. It was a move to try and force the Wests Tigers to annoint the Western Suburb club as the solitary feeder.
is about the only point that could be constued as opinion

@hybrid_tiger:

More Magpie whinging. It never stops.

You expect people to be happy?
You expect people to bend over and cop it?
Thats what they hope.
Its not the fans causing the division here

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