On the 10th day of Christmas….
Day 10 of the ‘Coventry’s Most Valuable Player’ poll results and this time it’s the 3rd place that’s published.
And you voted for:
George Oliver. Well done George!
George has been one of the stand out performers this season and perhaps its no surprise he features so highly in the MVP poll.
The thing that most surprises me about George Oliver is his age…just 22.
He seems so much older both in his physical appearance and the maturity of his play. He’s only made 33 appearances (2 of these from the bench) which is again seems so surprising as he seems to have been around for much longer. He’s scored 7 tries and had two yellow cards for his troubles which, given Coventry’s tendency to amass them with stunning ease this season, is better than many.
Given he only played in 6 games in his first season with us (2013/14) and 13 last season, the fact that he’s already played 13 this season shows how much he has developed in his time here (for the geeks amongst us, in all he’s played a total of 2237 minutes wearing a Cov shirt – I just love Statbunker!).
He’s already a player clearly very much in Scott Morgan’s thoughts next season, evidenced by his omission from yesterday’s team, apparently ‘rested’ (after a two week lay off?) so that the coaches could have a look at Alex Woodburn with ‘a view to next season’.
Coventry supporters always warm to players who play with total commitment to the Cov shirt and George exemplifies this. He never seems to have a poor game and is always prepared to put his body on the line for the team. Perhaps Scott Morgan summed him up best:
George is just a warrior really. We’ve all played with them at some time in our careers – he’s just one of those guys who puts his head in where it hurts and does it week in, week out. He knows what’s coming and he takes it on the chin. He just, as we say, ‘gets it’, and the more players you have who do that, the better it is.”
Scott seldom singles out players publicly for such praise which itself speaks volumes about him. Perhaps it’s in defence where he is at his best; strong in the tackle, quick to the ball and capable of winning the ball from the most unlikely of situations. If you take time to watch the second of the clips at the end of this post, it’s interesting to see how George is often able to stay on his feet after the tackle, enabling him to look for the turnover without being penalised. It’s not something that I notice particularly from the stand, but it is very evident on the clip.
He’s the kind of player that you want on your side when the going gets tough, the kind who’ll roll up his sleeves (were he, that is, wearing the old Cov shirt of the 60s and 70s!), put his down and just get on with it with a minimum of fuss. He’s also a future leader in the making, with Scott Morgan opting to make him captain when Wayne Evans was injured for several games earlier in the season.
Captains lead by example – so I guess George is an obvious choice.
I thought I’d end with a couple of YouTube clips of some of George’s best bits from 2014/15 to remind ourselves, as if we needed reminding, of just why George Oliver features so highly respected by those who took part in the poll. The first shows George in attack and the second in defence (which is pretty damned impressive!).
Tomorrow will see 2nd place in the MVP poll announced. A few thoughts on the Loughborough game to follow…