Club talk

On cars, ladders and the Waikato Tourist Board…

I really liked Mick Carter’s tongue-in-cheek idea of asking Jaguar Land Rover to sponsor Jacques Le Roux, given their initial’s are the same. It’s actually so obvious I’m amazed it hasn’t been used. I can see the poster campaign even as I type:

‘JLR – power, pace and oozing class’ with Jacques sitting at the wheel of a blue and white Evoque.

(Could be prone to a mechanical break down every now and then though. Takes a while to fix but always returns better than ever…).

If he is employed by JLR, as has subsequently been suggested, then someone’s missing a trick!

 

Mick’s comment did get me thinking about who else in the team could be used as a potential lure for much needed sponsorship…

…this is by way of starters. Please feel free to add to the list:

The Dorset Tourist Board - could offer cheap away days in Bournemouth for Cov's retirees, perhaps

The Dorset Tourist Board – could offer cheap away days in Bournemouth for Cov’s retirees, perhaps?

Tom Poole – the Dorset Tourist Board

Adam Parkins – Druckers or Greggs to advertise their cakes of the same name

George Oliver – Birmingham Repertory Theatre (seasonal, that one)

Scott Hamilton – the Waikato Tourist Board (could lead to a player exchange?)

Ben Thomas – Random House Books (publishers of Thomas the Tank

Engine)

Devlin Hope – Dutch bankers, Hope and Co

Adam Canning – Heinz beans (or other manufacturers of tinned products)…with a squad number of 57?

Courtney Roberts – Roberts radios: ‘Gets a good reception every time’ (bum bum)

Dan Rundle – any manufacturer of ladders or wheelbarrows (look it up, I had to!) – ‘Cov on the way up…’

Matt Jones – Jones the boot-maker – endless possibilities for a marketing campaign with that one

Heinz - proud sponsors of Adam Canning and Coventry RFC

Heinz – proud sponsors of Adam Canning and Coventry RFC

Sam Pailor – tenuous but Dulux (for their pastel range of paints…) or any brewer of light ale

Matt Price – Any discount store such as Poundland (Low on Price, high on quality)

Rikki Stout – any local brewery

Peter Weightman – any company selling slimming products or conversely those that look increase muscle by natural methods

Phil Maynard – manufacturer’s of wine gums and midget gems

Andy Brown – Molton and Brown  (should make the changing room a little less testosterone charged)

The possibilities are endless.

A bit of creative thinking and Cov could be the wealthiest club in the country…Mick, you’re a genius!

This could be the answer to all Cov’s financial worries…and just think of the freebies!

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Jacques Le Roux is receiving the recognition he deserves for the impact he's had on Coventry's results since his return

Jacques Le Roux is receiving the recognition he deserves for the impact he’s had on Coventry’s results since his return

In another very interesting Coventry Telegraph  feature article, John Wilkinson spotlights the effect that Jacques Le Roux has had since his return from injury.  Well he deserves such fulsome praise.

Coventry Telegraph – Le Roux

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I felt Le Roux’s return:

seems to have had a massive impact…coinciding as it does with the return to form of Sam Pailor. Jacques is something of a talisman for the team…invariably like Jones and Evans outside him, when he plays well the team does too and his style of play can lift the crowd to spur the team on even more.

There are few better sights for me than when  JLR  goes on one of his rampaging runs,  dropping his shoulder and accelerating through a gap to release someone in support. Great stuff.

Climbing mountains…discovering oceans

He’s a real crowd pleaser.

Jacques has had a wretched last couple of years or so with injury and the fact that he has returned is itself an indication of just how focused a person he appears.

A word of appreciation must go to the club here, too; whilst not knowing the ins and outs of the situation, it appears that throughout Jacques problems Coventry has stood by him. There was never indication that the club would release him or that they were frustrated by his recurrent injuries over such a long period of time.

And their loyalty to Jacques appears to be paying off both in the short and mid-term. Jacques return to the team is certainly one of the factors in Cov’s change of fortunes and, even better, Le Roux himself has indicated that he’d like to have another one or two seasons,  provided his body can cope with the rigours of the game:

Hopefully I can keep going for another two years if the body lets me – the mind certainly wants to.

And when asked about Coventry’s chances of a top finish, his response suggests the players certainly haven’t given up on the idea of promotion:

As for Coventry’s chances of a top finish in National League One, Le Roux remains confident.

I definitely think we are still in with a chance. On any day, any team can beat anybody in this division.

It’s what most supporters would want to hear, despite any concerns we might have about returning to the Championship and what that might mean to the club, its players and supporters, we want to know that the players still have the fight in them (but perhaps not quite in quite the manner that some of the players seemed to express it in the opening minutes of the second half last Saturday).

John’s article was a really informative read, as they always are…so much so that  perhaps the club could do something similar on the official website as a regular feature, too. A kind of:  ‘This week we turn the spotlight on…’ interview. 40 weeks, one interview a week and you’d cover most of the squad  and some of the coaches/admin staff. And in JW you’ve got the perfect person to produce the articles. Win/Win, really.

You’d get a lot of supporters viewing the website and if it’s done properly, links to the club shop, the squad details, photos etc, facilities available on match day, bar food menus etc, all accessible from that page, perhaps even a children’s page.

A supporters’ section dedicated to the team, the players, the match day experience with the photos that appear on Facebook (or at least a link) also there as well. Everything in one place, with match updates via Twitter feeding  into it as well.

I’m not very IT literate as far as websites are concerned, but one that has such content  would be more likely to increase the volume of traffic through it and hopefully help increase numbers through the turnstiles…you could increase interest by having polls – which player people would most like to see interviewed, who is presently Coventry’s ‘MVP’ (actually, I might use that one!)…anything that would appeal to supporters, particularly those who come over to the website in passing. If there’s nothing there to hook them, they won’t return.

Anyway…the team should be announced shortly. Whilst I’m not expecting any surprises, you never quite know with Coventry. Perhaps that’s what makes them such an interesting team to follow…

…and so infuriating at times!

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Coventry players in a relaxed mood on Thursday

Coventry players in a relaxed mood on Thursday

More positive news from the Butts then! Coventry are able to announce the same team that’s won their last three games with the exception of just one change, where Devlin Hope replaces the injured Matt Price.

Consistency in selection can only be a good thing and the players will be far more relaxed knowing that the coaches are rewarding strong individual performances with a lengthy run in the team.

Matt Price clearly hasn’t recovered from what looked like a pretty deep gash to the top of his head. However, in Devlin Hope  Coventry possess a more than adequate replacement who will offer the same level of commitment and passion that so typifies Matt’s approach to his rugby. Readers of this blog will know that I have been an admirer of Devlin’s since his first pre-season friendly against ‘Street and I’m sure he’ll make the most of the opportunity, even if it is at the expense of Matt. Devlin is an exciting player to watch and although Matt’s presence on the field will of course be missed,  he’ll more than compensate for his absence.

There are a couple of changes to the bench, with Jake Farnworth coming in as the replacement hooker and James Tincknell for Caolan Ryan who will travel with the team, as will Danny Wright. James’ appearance in the match day squad comes as no real surprise given Phil Maynard hinted that he was close to a recall last week.

As the picture above shows (thanks to Dom for allowing me to use it), the players seem in relaxed mood and the Secret Santa meal is yet another example of the way that this group of players is coming together. I don’t think anyone can question the team spirit that seems to be developing within the squad, something that is essential if the team is to progress further on the pitch.

It’s great to see.

With only three more games left to Christmas, hopefully none of the players will be sufficiently fatigued to warrant being rested by the coaches for a game or two. I’m not sure how it works, but after you’ve played 7, 8 or 9 games on the trot do you become more susceptible to injury, or is a week’s rest in between games sufficient time to recuperate? I know that in the past, players like Brett Daynes played all 28 games for two consecutive seasons (I’m not sure he was even replaced during the game…?). Is that the exception rather than the norm, if they remain injury free?

A warm welcome to George Tresidder who could make his Coventry debut from the bench tomorrow

A warm welcome to George Tresidder who could make his Coventry debut from the bench tomorrow

With  players coming back into contention following injury, it might be that Scott Morgan can afford to rest one or two players a game without adversely affecting the rest of the team. Most players have missed at the very least one or two games already, so this shouldn’t be a consideration at the moment, anyway, I’m just thinking ahead!

Coventry have added George Tresidder to the squad as back up to Wayne Evans at scrum half. George represented England  at U18 level and played twice for Leicester last season, once in the Aviva Premiership and once against the Barbarians, coming on from the bench on both occasions.

Whether Harrison Lee-Everton is injured or hasn’t been offered a contract is unclear. Hopefully we’ll learn that in the fullness of time, but whatever the reason, I hope George will enjoy his time at Cov and leave a better player for the experience.

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This weekend’s game is important for lots of reasons. For me, much of its significance is about whether team that we’ve seen play some exceptional rugby in the last three games, albeit mixed in with some pretty ordinary spells too, can move up to the next level and produce a performance good enough to beat Darlington.

Darlington are another side that has put together some excellent results against arguably better teams over the last three games. At home, they will be provide a substantial challenge…

…but I do believe Coventry will be more than a match for them.

Come on Cov!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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