Whilst most supporters were a little concerned before the Cinderford game about the reaction of the players whose contracts Rowland Winter isn’t intending to renew, it was clear from the kick off last Saturday that this was going to be a team effort, one full of pride and a willingness to play for each other, as well as the club. Self-respect and passion would prevail.
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain
The Wasteland – TS Eliot
TS Eliot would have us believe that the cruellest month is April, whilst also suggesting as he does that Winter ‘kept us warm, covering / Earth in forgetful snow’.
Winter (the season!) keeping us warm, snow helping us to forget..?
I can recall all too clearly freezing my socks off watching Cov lose to Esher and Darlington.
How I wish I could forget.
And as for April being the cruellest of months? Eliot definitely go that one wrong, too.
If Thomas Stearns Eliot were alive today and a Coventry season ticket holder, he might well be reassessing that view.
Surely it’s got to be March?
At least it must be so for all those players not on the new DoR’s retained list released a couple of weeks ago now.
There were several stand out performances on the day, Dom’s 3 tries, Alex Woodburn’s impressive display in midfield alongside Callum MacBurnie, Devlin Hope’s best 60 minutes in a Cov shirt and Sam Pailor’s all round commitment to the cause.
Sam is one of those player’s who will always stand out if he has a decent game. In attack, his charging, bullish runs off the shoulder of the scrum half earn important yards time and time again and, in defence, he’ll always put in one or two thumping hits on any opposition player unlucky enough to have the ball at that particular moment in the game.
He must wake up most Sunday’s during the season and know for sure he’s been in a game the day before. He’ll never shy away from a tackle or a carry and he brings real physicality to the team. His body must ache something rotten for a couple of days post match.
He has the ‘Cov dog’ in him in abundance and that makes him a real crowd pleaser on the pitch. I don’t know Sam at all, but those who do speak very highly of him as a person as well. If the players coming in to Coventry next season show the same commitment and passion for the club as Sam has done, then the new DoR will have recruited wisely.
March is the month when it’s really hit home to me that we are losing some really genuine people, and not just players. It’s suddenly become all too clear who is on their way out of The Butts.
Rowland Winter has made his decisions and the early release of names avoids weeks of speculation and rumour, something which is in everyone’s interest. We know now that Sam will be moving on and I expect his agent will already be sounding out possible options.
I can’t think he’ll have too much trouble finding a new club given his experience (remembering he also represented Wales at U20s, Newport Gwent Dragons, Bedford and Doncaster before coming to Cov in June 2013) and it would be good to think we’ll be seeing him at the Butts again next season albeit for the opposition, although just how much his electrical business will determine how far he can travel has yet to be seen.
Sam is another player who has produced some promo clips of his best bits, presumably to attract further interest from prospective clubs. And here they are, a reminder of what we’ll be soon be missing:
According to Statbunker, Sam has played 67 times for Coventry, scoring 12 tries in total (which is lower than I’d expected, but I guess that’s because he likes to carry the ball and makes such good yards). He’s also been at the receiving end of 9 yellow cards – but when you play on the edge as Sam does, sometimes the referee is going to see things differently. It’s not often you get the one without the other. I hope he doesn’t change as it gives him a distinct advantage on occasions, it’s more a question of sometimes showing a little more self-discipline.
There were always going to be winners and losers on the playing front once the Board announced a new DoR was headed for The Butts. It is absolutely the right thing for them to give Rowland Winter the freedom to build his own squad once the appointment was made. And given the number of players on the move, as a supporter there are bound to be players whom I will miss. Sam Pailor is definitely one of them. He has been a great club man and whilst not always at his best this season ( and in truth which Cov player has been?), he is a someone who leads by example and who can influence a game both in attack and defence.
I am sad to see Sam go.
April is the cruellest month? ‘Fraid Not, Thomas.
April will offer the beginnings of hope as Rowland Winter announces his new squad and the structure of the club begins to become clearer with the unveiling of the new coaching staff.
Nope, it’s definitely March that’s he cruellest month for me…
…and to be honest you have to question the judgement of anyone who chooses to be known by a name that is an anagram of toilets.