3 pm today is going to be fun. So, if you were planning to give the DMP game a miss, believing it likely to end up a dull, mid-table affair with little to play for and no atmosphere, then think again.
It seems as if there might be some fireworks after all and it could be well worth every last penny of the admission fee.
And by the sound of it, there are going to be one or two tasty match-ups in today’s game, if Matt Price’s tweet is anything to go by.
Perhaps DMP stands for Don’t Mess (with) Pricey…
Matt will be well aware of the names of players who are coming to Coventry next season and from his not-so-cryptic message, it seems a couple of them might be coming from Darlington way.
Nothing is going to motivate a Coventry side made up of at least 11 players deemed to be ‘surplus to requirements’ next season more than fronting up to a team including some of the players who will be filling their boots in September. With Ignas Darkintas also in the DMP team, then it’s looking as if it’s going to be a cracker of a contest.
And without wanting to fuel speculation too much, there are those on rolling-maul.com who would have us believe that a certain Darlington second row might be about to become a Cov player…
When Matt talks ‘fun’, then you know it will be something special. And good for Pricey, too.
If ever a player wore his heart on his (short) sleeve then it’s Matt Price. You know that he’ll be fired up this afternoon, not just because he wants to have the bragging rights in the changing room come September, but because he is fiercely loyal to those he plays alongside, players some of whom wanted to stay on but weren’t offered the opportunity to carry on push for promotion under a new regime. Whilst I was delighted Dev got a couple of games prior to this one, I’m equally please Matt has the No 2 shirt today.
‘#pistolsattheready #safetyoff ‘- one of the greatest all-time hashtag…
It all makes for an intriguing clash and one which suddenly takes on a whole new meaning. Any by making it public, Matt’s added a great deal of interest to what might otherwise have been a just a run of the mill, end of season affair.
And as if that isn’t enough, the tweet has been ‘liked’ by a fair few Coventry players as well as Rowland Winter. The DoR-elect obviously sees the tweet for what it is, a preliminary skirmish before the real battle begins later this afternoon. And many of us will have a ringside seat for what should be an enthralling contest, one in which reputations are very much at stake. If indeed there are players in the Darlington team who will be with us next season, then they’ll also want to make an impression on not only those in the Coventry side who’ll be staying on, but also the home supporters.
If Matt Price has indeed taken the safety catch off, you know he means business. As long as he, and the other players alongside him, can keep their emotions in check and channel them into something more positive on the pitch, then it will only help their cause.
I certainly fancy it might give one or two of our players added incentive to even the score following our disappointing defeat to DMP away before Christmas, a game that we could have won but for a disappointing 25 minute period in the second half. At times we looked in control, especially for much of the first 40 minute, but ill-discipline and our inability to stop the ‘catch and drive’ in our own 22 cost us dearly. We gave away too many penalties and were yellow-carded at crucial times. If we have learned from that game and if tempers are held in check, then suddenly things begin to favour us a little.
If we keep our heads and use the situation to our advantage, and those not returning next season really do want to prove a point, then we have a real edge over the opposition now. I quite understand why the names of players already signed aren’t being released, but this is one occasion where something in the Coventry Telegraph mid-week highlighting the irony inherent in the game might have created some additional interest and increased the gate on the day.
Hopefully, there will be a good deal more than 880ish (?) who attended the last home game. To be fair to Coventry, they have offered Sky Blues supporters a reduction in the cost of admission for today’s game which is an eminently sensible move on the club’s part. The first I knew of it, though, was through a retweet of a Coventry City tweet yesterday afternoon. Apologies if the club had sent out details of the offer prior to this – you’d have hoped they would as it would be fairly late notice otherwise.
So, if you weren’t intending to make your way down to the Butts today and you haven’t got anything else planned…well, have a rethink. There’s certainly more attached to the game now and a fired up Matt Price is always enjoyable to watch. The likes of Pailor, Oliver, Wright, Jones, Ryan and Lespierre won’t need any other motivation and if I were Scott I’d get the squad back into the changing room at 2.50, shut the door, stand well back and leave the team talk to Matt. Oh to be a fly on the wall for that…
It’s a day for Coventry to come good. A day for the team to put the disappointment of the season behind them and purge themselves of their demons. A day to give something back to the supporters.
A day to remember.
The Butts Park Arena. 3.00 pm…
Miss this at your peril.
A quick shout out for Peter Weightman…he’s not had much opportunity to show what he can do this season and whenever he has played, he’s done pretty well.
He brings something different to the table when he plays, adding power and strength to the wing as well as a pretty decent turn of speed when he steps on the gas. He has that raw ability to break the first tackle repeatedly and whilst not quite in the Will Hurrell class just yet, he is one of the youngest players to have scored for Coventry and had Rob Knox and Dan Rundle been playing this season, I think the back division could have caused considerable problems to most National 1 defences. If he takes the ball at pace and hits the right angle, he’s devastating and can punch holes in any defence in this league.
In keeping with many other players, Peter has released his 2015/16 highlights, presumably as a promotional video for anyone interested. Have a good look and remind yourself of the potential this young man has – he score a couple of tries against us last year when playing for Tynedale: whose to say he won’t be doing something similar against us at some point in the future.
He certainly has the potential to hold down a regular first team place in National 1 – I wish him and his family every success in the future.
Another one who has slipped through the net, perhaps?
For anyone not able to go to the game, I’ll tweet regular updates from Cov via Twitter (@Cowshedtim) or if you don’t have Twitter, you can still see the tweets in real time on the top right hand side of the homepage of this blog.
Hopefully, I’ll also post some pre-match photos in the evening…
Come on, Cov…