Sam Cooke once sang…
It’s been a long time coming.
whilst at the same time acknowledging…
(But) I know a change gonna come
Oh, yes it will.
Change is surely on the way, bringing hope with it.
But that is for the future.
Today is about endings, however painful they may be.
As the season meandered its way from the highs of August and early September to the lows of January and February, there came a time a few weeks ago when I actually began to look forward to this day rather sooner than I should have. It’s been a long time coming…
The final home match of the season.
An end to what has been, on and off the pitch, one of the more difficult seasons in Coventry’s recent past.
To be fair to the players and coaches, though, the team has rallied of late, putting together some notable performances particularly in the last two games but, even so, I still think a break and a chance to take stock, regroup and recharge the batteries is best for everyone connected with the club, including the supporters (or this one at least).
It pains me to say that because in order to achieve some sort of respite, we must say first say our goodbyes to so many players, old and new.
I guess the reality of the situation really sank in when I had a message from a parent to say he would be travelling to the match today because afterwards he’ll be collecting his son’s things and taking them back home.
I have this really uncomfortable image of parents having to go to Reception and being handed the possessions in a plastic bag, such is the feeling of loss at the moment.
What do you say later today, as supporters, to players who want to stay on and who would welcome the opportunity to put things right under new leadership, but instead have been shown the door? I’ve said several times that such a clear-out is probably just what’s needed and as the names of new players coming into the club are announced, so I get more excited…
But there’s no real excitement today. It’s a day tinged with sadness.
Whatever one’s feelings about the change in direction the club is about to embark upon, the knowledge that the likes of Pailor, Oliver and Lespierre won’t be playing at The Butts ever again, at least not whilst wearing a Coventry shirt, is difficult to accept. These players have provided us with some fantastic moments over the last two or three seasons and for that we must be grateful and wish them well wherever they end up in September.
I’m not one to usually get angry about what is, after all, just a game, but the circumstances of their departure certainly raise the blood pressure a little because there seems to have been little effort on the part of the club to publicly acknowledge either the contributions of these players or to celebrate their time with us. Yes, we know there is an Awards’ presentation after the game, one that has been slotted in after the game almost as an afterthought because of the initial cancellation, but that is entirely different to recognising the players are leaving and making it a special day for them, their families and for the supporters who appear more saddened to see them go than the club is.
Unless I’ve missed something, there doesn’t appear to have been any indication that there will be an opportunity for the crowd to show their appreciation of the players and the coaches immediately before the game, nor has there been anything to say that there will be a presentation of some sort to Aggy and Scott in recognition of their particular contributions…
Surely any employer would want to be seen to publicly thank someone who has spent 22 years in their service…? But there’s been nothing of any note.
Coventry should have been publicising today from the Sunday after the last home game, building up the occasion as an opportunity to say our goodbyes to some very loyal servants to this club. Instead there ‘s seems only to be silence.
Where are the former players that Aggy might have played alongside, or some of those whom he will have coached…forming a guard of honour as he leads the teams out, perhaps. I rather expect that there would be a fair few wanting to be involved in something of that sort.
There have been lots of such suggestions on the Messageboard and elsewhere as to how best to recognise the contributions of Dave Addleton and of the others who are exiting the club in just 7 days time, but they seem to have fallen on deaf ears.
I’m sure many will say their individual thanks to Dave and Scott, as well as Pete, Scott H and Norman, but that’s not the same as having a collective act of appreciation. If it is planned, then great, but it should have been built up to a crescendo by now…
I’ll arrive at the ground later today hoping for the best but fearing the worst, that it won’t be the celebration that it should be. Okay, it’s not been the best of seasons, but it’s not always all about results, sometimes it’s about coming together as a family.
‘Our City, Our Club’ – or so the theory goes.
I accept that I tend to overthink things at times, but with nothing coming out of The Butts about tomorrow, other than about the Awards and the usual post match musical entertainment, it’s almost as if the club don’t want to acknowledge publicly the importance of the day, especially to the players and their families.
For goodness sake, the band forming the post-match entertainment, GDANSK, the game has had more pre-match publicity from the club than anything connected with Aggy and Scott’s departures.
The sooner a supporters’ group is up and running the better; this would never have been allowed to happen had there been some dialogue beforehand.
For me, a few words in the clubhouse after the game (if that’s what it will end up as) isn’t enough and denies all the supporters attending the game the opportunity to publicly show their appreciation. They deserve better and so do the players and coaches.
I appreciate I might well be out on a limb with this one, but that’s how it is for me.
So this is my thank thank; it’s as public as I can make it and it’s sincere.
It’s been a difficult season but throughout everything the players have always given of their best. Win or lose, I’ve enjoyed every game and my quality of life has been all the better for it. So thank you to the players and coaches alike and especially to those who are moving on to pastures new.
I know there is still one game left after today, but this is the last home game and I’ll not be travelling up to Wharfedale, so this is the appropriate time to say:
All the very best and thank you…
…it’s been a blast.
If you haven’t already voted in yesterday’s poll, then it’s still possible to do so…details below:
If you could plead the case for up to 3 (sorry to put a limit on the number but it makes it more interesting this way) of the current squad to be offered new contracts next season other than those already announced, who would they be?
I’ve included a poll so that it’s possible to compare your choices with those of other readers and thus see if there’s any general agreement.
You have up to 3 votes, although you don’t have to use them all. Just click on the in the square next to the appropriate name(s).
The choices appear randomly, so the order you see them in will be different to that of other readers.
Hope this makes sense.
Thank you in advance for taking part…I’ll publish the results early next week.
I never can say goodbye. No no no no no oo.
Never can say goodbye, no, no, no, no, now.
I never can say goodbye.
I keep thinking that our problems
Soon are all gonna work out.
But there’s that same unhappy feeling,
There’s that anguish, there’s that doubt.
It’s the same old dizzy hangup,
Can’t do with you or without.
Tell me why is it so, don’t wanna let you go.
Never Can Say Goodbye – The Jackson 5