As promised, today’s post details the results of the recent poll designed to be a light-hearted look at what the strongest side taken from the combined squads over the last two years might look like, as selected by readers of this blog.
In all, just shy of 200 readers took part which made it the most popular poll so far and I am very grateful to everyone who voted and especially to those who said some very encouraging things about the post at the game on Saturday.
Whilst the blog is really written for an audience of one, myself, I am very lucky that there are those who have chosen to come across and read it every now and again and who, whilst not always agreeing with what I might have to say, are open-minded enough to take an interest in someone else’s thoughts and opinions. Thank you.
The intention certainly wasn’t to undermine the present squad; far from it. Indeed, the reverse is probably true and if anything I take a far more positive slant of things, in relation to the playing side of the club, than many.
So the comment that such a poll might ‘damage (the players) confidence’ and ‘make them feel unwelcome’ was an odd one given this was purely meant as a bit of light relief, the sort of thing many supporters might discuss when chatting with mates…
Hands up though, in the past that might not have been a bit more indiscreet last season in reflecting on some of the non-playing aspects of the club…now that would be a fair cop.
And here’s the thing – if any players in the present squad were sensitive enough to be concerned about such a poll (and a really doubt that to be the case), then once they’ve read the results they should be well and truly encouraged by the way in which folk have voted.
In eight of the nine playing positions involved in the poll, every single player in the current squad has been voted into the ‘fantasy’ team, the only exception being the back row.
And if we look at this a little more closely, Darrel Dyer, Eoghan Grace and Brett Daynes are all in there, along with Jacques Le Roux, Sam Pailor and George Oliver…which I have to say would make a fairly formidable line up. Dyer, Grace and Daynes have played the bulk of the matches, but with relatively little seen of Sam Harry, Ali Bone and Olly Povoas so far, it isn’t surprising they didn’t feature as much in the voting.
Le Roux, Pailor and Oliver were stalwarts of the side for a number of years, very popular with supporters and genuinely good players, with two of them going on to play in the Championship this season. The fact that Sam, Ali and Olly are well ahead of the likes of Daniel Carpo, Loti Molitika and Alex Woodburn shows the extent to which the supporters have taken to them this year.
Elsewhere, some very good players from last year haven’t made it into the fantasy team…Dom Lespierre (by just two votes), Gaston Mieres, Matt Jones, Wayne Evans, Devlin Hope, Ben Thomas, Danny Wright to name but a few.
If I were to take anything away from this poll, it would be that the supporters who took part in it, who clearly aren’t untypical of Coventry supporters in general, have bought into what the current management team is doing in terms of moving the club forward and, even when results and performances haven’t gone quite as well as hoped away from home, they see this squad very much as having both ability and depth.
I should add that there were some interesting names added by supporters:
Aggy (2 votes), Will Hurrell ( 3 votes), Heath Stevens, Rory Hutchinson (2 votes), James Otutaha, Paul Thomas and Davy McGregor
all got a mention…!
Somewhere along the way, a couple of readers lost the plot!
Just before the result in full, a reminder of what was involved…
You were asked to select
- 5 props (Stankovich already included)
- 2 hookers
- 3 second rowers (Snyman already selected )
- 6 back rowers
- 3 half backs
- 4 centres (Burke already selected)
- 4 wings/full backs (Pritchard already included)
from a combination of all the players still playing in April last season and this season’s squad.
The general points included:
- Any dual reg players from last year weren’t included as they were all attached to a mother club and therefore not available;
- A couple of positions had little choice as at the end of last season Coventry relied on dual reg players in these areas;
- Only players who were still at Coventry at the end of last season were included, so Courtney Roberts and Tom Preece weren’t because they had left the club well before April;
- Sam Smith was included because he was in last year’s squad, even though he’s only in the developmental squad this year;
- I included a blank space to type the name of a player should I have left somebody out of the list who ought to have been included;
- The computer generated the order the players appear in, not me!
- Players like Cliffie Hodgson, ones capable of playing in two or three positions, were included just the once, in what I regard to be their best one, rather than repeating them.
The player who polled the most votes in each position appears first on the list, with the percentage of votes received in brackets to the right of his name. The player in blue received the next highest percentage outside those who qualified.
Below, then, is what a squad made up of those from the last two seasons might have looked like based on last week’s poll…
James Stokes – 43%
Cliffie Hodgson – 24%
(Gaston Mieres – 16%)
Max Trimble – 29%
Dan Rundle – 24%
(Dom Lespierre – 24%)*
*same percentage but two votes less
Rob Knox – 26%
Tom Wheatcroft – 23%
Corey Hircock – 21%
Callum MacBurnie – 19%
(Sam Smith – 8% and in the Development Squad)
Tony Fenner – 38%
Will Maisey – 37%
(Matt Jones – 25%)
Pete White – 33%
Sam Grasso – 28%
Rhodri Adamson – 20%
(Wayne Evans – 16%)
Darrel Dyer – 14%
Eoghan Grace – 13%*
Sam Pailor – 13%*
Jacques Le Roux – 13%*
George Oliver – 12%
Brett Daynes – 11%
(Olly Povoas – 6%)
*same percentage but all within 3 votes of each other
Tom Poole – 33%
Tom Jubb – 26%
Rob Conquest -25%
(Danny Wright – 11%)
Scott Tolmie – 45%
Matt Price – 36%
(Devlin Hope – 18%)
Andy Brown – 33%
Phil Boulton – 27%
Jimmy Litchfield – 21%
(Chad Thorne – 10%)