From Phil Caplan, RLEF Media

Tas Baitieri, Global Development  Manager for the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF), visited Serbia for talks with the governing body and to review their progress. Baitieri met with members of the Board of Directors and the national team coach in the federation’s new offices in central Belgrade

It was his second visit to the country nine years after his initial trip when he then observed the local ’State of Origin’ clash in Pancevo, the immediate legacy of which was Serbia’s first tour,  to France in 2003.

“When I got the invitation to first come to Serbia and I didn’t know what to expect,“ Baitieri said. “The game was played not far from Belgrade, on a ground that was walled on three sides. The players knew the rules and although the technical and physical standard wasn’t too high they knew how to play rugby league. I was really pleased to see that sport existed again in Serbia after it had come to a halt in 1964 in the former Yugoslavia.”

This week, having witnessed a comprehensive presentation and review of the clubs, competitions and media coverage, Baitieri is clearly  impressed with the state of the game there.

“It is clear how much time has passed,“ he continued. “Serbia will play in this year’s World Cup qualification for the second time; they have twice hosted the Under 16s European Cup, welcolmed a number of strong national teams, and even students from New South Wales.“

“Serbia has become one of the nations with the highest credibility in Europe, however, continuing development is something we should constantly strive for. I can see that the people running the game here have a lot of ideas, most of their vision is quite attainable so I have no doubt that our sport will continue to grow in this Central European stronghold.“


Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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  1. Andrew says:

    Why do you need to be invited to attend? Why 9 years? Just another example of what is desperately wrong with Rugby League. Another fat cat just skating along with little or no planning as to how to influence the growth of the sport in foreign markets.
    Hand in your passport Tas, you’ve had your fun.

    • druzik says:

      Actually, I know Tas well and out of all the people in the RLIF he probably is the only one that does a lot for the sport. He travels at his own expense to many country’s to help them and give advice. He also is the one that sets up and organises and sets up the International 9s in Sydney every year.

      • EH says:

        Tas is obviously a well-wisher with good intentions. But the fact that he has to travel at his own expense is an absolute disgrace, especially when he has been the only ‘development officer’ of the RLIF for years. Is he even paid or tasked to do anything at all by the RLIF, or is this just a sort of voluntary/honorary post? If so, you should apply to be a ‘global development officer’ as well druzik. Maybe if Tas really wanted to influence the international game, he could go to the RLIF and tell them how much of a disgrace they have been and how these nations have been developing well in spite of their disgusting neglect from the ‘world governing body’.

      • druzik says:

        As far as I know, all the position in the RLIF are “Volunteer”. No one gets paid in the RLIF. They all have other jobs or positions in other Rugby League federations.

        This is why I have called for a Paid Fully professional RLIF … The world cup money should have been used to do this rather than pay for one off tournaments as we have had. Then you have people that are constantly going out to get money every year.

  2. Cheyne Maher says:

    Agree totally that the rlif should have more professionals – as you point out Dan you have to spend money to make money. Good news from Serbia though

  3. dragons4eva says:

    Which is why he must be applauded even more. People like him, yourself Dru, RLEF development officers, Spinner, David Niu etc in one way or another give their time and effort to help spread the game of Rugby League! I take my hat off to people like you Dan!

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