Two days ago I produced a poll that looked at the key areas of discussion in recent weeks amongst Coventry supporters on the messageboard and elsewhere, including on match days. With so much happening on and off the field, there has been much to talk about…
Readers were asked to prioritise these areas in order of importance from a list of 10.
In other words, the order in which they felt the club should be prioritising them. The results were as follows:
Poll Results temporarily removed – Feb 2017
It comes as no great surprise to see recruitment and retention at the top of the list and it merely emphasises what we already know…the main focus of interest for most Cov supporters is in the rugby itself. Building a strong side, by retaining our best players and recruiting additional players who add quality to the squad, is therefore always going to be of the greatest importance. How that is achieved is secondary to me as a supporter, indeed it’s not something to which many will give a great deal of thought.
This is probably the reason why development of the ground and the creation of additional funding streams is so far behind recruitment and retention in the poll. It’s a turn off for most supporters who just want to attend the match on a Saturday and read the Telegraph for previews and reviews during the week. Many of those who contribute to posts on the messageboard won’t get drawn into threads about improving the facilities at the Butts or how the club is financed. Important as it is, it doesn’t visibly impact directly on the enjoyment of a Saturday afternoon’s rugby, however crucial it might be in reaching that end product. Out of sight…out of mind.
Of course, you can’t have recruitment at a level strong enough to make a sustained push for promotion without the funding to support it, or indeed create an Extras side. And for an Extras side, you’ll need a secondary pitch or a 3/4 G artificial surface to play on. It’s obviously far more joined up than a poll could ever allow for, but I do think it helps explain why the club fails to achieve such positive responses to announcements of matters relating to the development of the club’s corporate opportunities as they do to those of new DoRs (leaving aside the manner of the announcement).
Two additional priorities were added:
- Building a squad to challenge for promotion, big enough to establish a 2nd XV in 1 y
- Forums for non-members
The first links in with the first two on the list…
The second is more tricky. In theory I’d be very much in favour of the Forum being open to everyone who attends regularly, season ticket holder or not. However, without showing your ticket, it would be possible for anyone to go to one of the Forums, possibly with no connection to the club even, and potentially ‘hijack’ it or disrupt it. I can understand why it is members only, even though I appreciate there will be many who aren’t season ticket holders, either because of cost or they just won’t get to enough games to make it cost efficient, yet are true Cov supporters and feel that they should be entitled to go.
By allowing members only, it does ensure that only genuine Cov fans attend, even if there are other such fans who aren’t able to go. A solution – it would be easy enough to print a voucher in match day programmes – these could be collected and anyone who had collected x vouchers would be allowed to attend the next Forum, having proved they are genuine Coventry RFC supporters.
I’d love to know what Jon Sharp’s order of priority would be given that he would be approaching the poll from a very different angle…I would imagine 1,5,6,4 and then 9 (9 because it is something that will be given far greater emphasis under the new DoR, according to the latest members’ e-letter)…????
Many thanks to everyone who took part in the poll…if anyone has any suggestions for other polls that might be of interest, please do add a comment…
I mentioned a while back that players often produce clips of their best moments to put on YouTube simply as a testament to their ability as players or as a marketing exercise, allowing interested parties (clubs and coaches in particular) to have reference to footage of particular players they might be interested in recruiting. This avoids having to wade through all the official RFU videos that National 1 clubs have access to.
Caolan Ryan has already produced a couple which I included in a post a while back.
Devlin Hope has also produced one…sad to say, I guess that means he feels he might be moving on, come the end of the season.
It’s worth watching for a couple of reasons. First, we have seen so very little of Devlin this year that we should remind ourselves of the impact he has had when he’s been on the pitch. To be honest, he did well to amass a 14 minute video, considering of the 18 games he’s been in the match day squad, he’s only started 5 times and then only because Matt Price has been injured. A couple of minutes seem to be of footage from back in South Africa.
I happen to rate Devlin…but as soon as I say I think he should have started more games than he has (5 games out of the 18 he’s been in the match day squad and out of 23 in total), it becomes almost an implied criticism of Matt, which isn’t the case at all.
Matt is a fantastic player and as the leading try scorer presently on 9, he clearly has had a huge impact on the pitch. But so has Devlin. He’s played just 605 minutes of rugby, with over half that time as a replacement…and has himself scored 6 tries, which is a better return than any other player based on tries per minutes on the pitch.
It might well be that Matt is technically a far better player – I’m not qualified to make a judgement on that as I haven’t played the game to any decent standard. However, as a spectator I enjoy watching Dev play.
He is committed in everything he does and with his trademark pony tail, he is easily identifiable. He’s very mobile about the pitch, enjoys running with the ball and is combative and solid in defence, either in the tackle, or at the breakdown. He’s fearless as the footage in the You Tube compilation shows and watching the clips from a completely different angle to that of a spectator, you get to see far more of the physicality in his play.
I guess editing games in this way allows you to create an impression of a player that could be very different to the reality, but what’s in this compilation is not going to do him any harm at all if the right people get to see it.
He’s a crowd pleaser and seems very popular with the crowd. Like Matt, he’s combative and is someone who has the ‘Cov dog’ in him.
|Games played||18||Games in squad||21|
|Games started||5||Started as a sub||16|
|Came on||13||Minutes as sub||318|
|Temporary substitution on||2||Came off||5|
Given the compilation starts by reinforcing the fact that he is a British passport holder, it would suggest that this is more than a personal montage of all his best bits – this has the look of a promo ‘tape’ of someone who knows they are going to be on the move at the end of the season.
I hope I’m wrong but I certainly wouldn’t blame him for looking beyond Cov next season – Matt will still be here and I would imagine Devlin didn’t travel to the northern hemisphere just to spend a season warming the benches of National 1 grounds up and down the country.
He should be playing rugby and I’d imagine that he won’t be without offers come September. Whilst Matt is ‘of an age’, but by no means a veteran yet (!), he’s probably still got a good couple of seasons in him and he’ll want to play as often as he can, and rightly so. Matt’s not going to move anywhere, especially given the fantastic work he’s doing as part of his Community outreach work and no would the club want him to.
As I’ve said before, Cov have been lucky to have two hookers of such ability – certainly in this position at least, Cov got their recruitment last year spot on.
The e-letter did say that there would be a number of changes in personnel and I guess Dev is another player who might well be joining the exodus from Cov this season. Maybe Rowland Winter will see something different in Devlin and encourage him to stay.
Personally, given we’ve had one Hope-less season, I rather not have another…