I’ve been staring at a blank screen for the last 5 minutes, completely unable to articulate what I’d hoped would be a witty link between the announcement of the names of the 4 new coaches and the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse…you know, a sort of coach and horses thing.
I could hardly conjure up an image of the 4 of them each riding into The Butts on horses named Pestilence, Death, Famine and War respectively….
Anyway, nothing seemed to fit so I’ll have to leave the image hanging somewhat (that would be Death, then) …perhaps it’s one that I’ll come back to in a different post.
It’s hard to argue against Rowland Winter’s comment in the recent Coventry Telegraph article that all four of them:
offer relevant and current experience of the top levels of the game in specialist areas and I am delighted they are on board
although in terms of coaching experience, they are comparative inexperienced, with only Snyman and Burke seeming to have been involved in any coaching at their present clubs.
However, I don’t see this as a problem necessarily and I can well remember a young Steve Williams coming to Coventry in 2004 with very little experience, yet having an immediate impact. The coaching team will command the utmost respect from the players and I’m sure they will have jumped through all the necessary hoops as far as coaching badges are concerned.
Rowland expects that all 4 will be player-coaches and although both James Pritchard and Boris Stankovich are ‘of an age’, they have been playing regularly and what they may have lost in terms of pace and endurance, they will have more than made up for in terms of experience .
On paper at least, this looks a strong line-up and given they are all proven performers on the pitch, this is far less of a gamble than it might at first appear.
The new DoR has made it clear that he is ambitious and has put it on record that one of the reasons he’s leaving Cambridge at the end of the season, even though they might well be in National 1 alongside Coventry next season, is that he feels Coventry’s aspirations lie in promotion to the Championship whilst Cambridge are very much more about survival in National 1:
Cambridge’s focus when they go up will be slightly different, they are looking for survival and building slowly, and I have no understanding of what it is like to coach a side without aspirations to win the league
There seems little chance, then, that Rowland is going to do anything other than choose a team of coaches that he feels will best serve him and the club in delivering on that target – not necessarily in the short-term but certainly over a two or three-year period.
He also appears to be someone who believes in distributed leadership and has wisely involved the new incoming coaches in the recruitment of next season’s squad. And they haven’t just been ‘involved’ in the recruitment process, they have been ‘instrumental’ in it.
Much better this way than inherit a squad that you haven’t been involved in bringing together…accountability is built in from the start and having chosen the best players available to you within the constraints of your budget, then it really is up to you to deliver.
I’m not altogether convinced that this was the case for Scott Morgan back in September.
We know he didn’t have the overall say in the players coming in (or staying?) in the close season (even though he was head coach) which is probably one reason why we needed to strengthen the squad when injuries started to play such a big part in August and September. There were still players available, but not necessarily of the same quality as those unavailable through enforced absence.
That scenario has been done away with and that’s why it’s right that the coaches have been given carte blanche to pick a squad from scratch. No one will be there other than because the coaches want them there.
Rowland Winter, as Director of Rugby, will surely have the final say on who comes in and who doesn’t. However, the fact that all the coaches will have been involved, must be a positive – presumably each coach has had a bigger say on the recruitment of players they will be coaching as part of their own specialist areas.
Tough, very tough, on those in the current squad who would have dearly loved another season at the Butts but absolutely the right thing to do.
The talk is often about players being hungry and ambitious; less so the coaches. But that is exactly how Rowland is describing the coaches he’s put in place to guide the players from April onwards. But their will be plenty of that in evidence next season amongst the players as well, perhaps more so than has been evident this season…
Many of the players in the present squad have been here for a couple of seasons or more and maybe that need to prove themselves hasn’t been as evident – we all know the quality of rugby they are capable of producing and so perhaps the fire in their bellies hasn’t been quite so intense. There must be a difference dynamic between a new squad, with everything to prove, and an established one that has already achieved great things.
And now we await the names of those players coming in.
How much of a budget is left after recruiting 4 full-time coaches, with other posts still to be filled?
Has more money been made available to allow for these appointments (in the belief that getting in quality coaches on a full-time basis must be the priority) or is it the same-sized budget but with a little less now available to recruit the players?
We won’t have to wait too long now for the answers…
It seems that there might be some truth to the speculation regarding Cov’s new mystery backer.
I understand that he’s made his millions from the automotive and construction industries and although he’s based in London, he has strong business links in Coventry.
Talks have been on-going between the benefactor and the Board for some time now and there is a strong possibility that he is also prepared to make a ‘considerable’ financial contribution towards the building of a 125 bedroom hotel and conference centre on the present site behind the railway end and the temporary stand, subject to certain ‘conditions’.
It’s believed that he’s agreed to ‘donate’ upwards of 4.25 million pounds over a 5 year period with £750,000 being made immediately available to the club for recruitment and wages in readiness for next season.
There will also be a range of sponsored cars available to the squad and to the coaching staff.
Whilst his identity hasn’t been officially released, he will be introduced to supporters at the Members Forum later this month.
His presence, alongside that of Rowland Winter will doubtless mean that there is a bumper turnout, with everyone keen to learn how the additional funds will impact on the club’s drive for promotion over the next two seasons.
More details as to this massive injection of cash are expected to be released in the next couple of weeks so that supporters will be able to ask questions relating to the impact it will have on the club, both in terms on the on the pitch focus and the development of top qualities facilities on site.
It is believed the initial contact between the club and the benefactor was through Flo Pailor, Sam Pailor’s aunt.
Embarrassment all round then, given Sam isn’t being retained…talk about an own goal (or is it a penalty try?).