Club talk

Nothing succeeds like success…catering for bigger crowds…

successSuccess breeds success.

The more a team wins, the more support it attracts.

And whilst there’s nothing new in that, it certainly is true of Cov at the moment as it seems they are already beginning to benefit from their improved performances of late, including the draw at Darlington a couple of weeks ago which by all accounts was our best away performance of the season so far.

That, together with the win against Moseley last Saturday, has ensured that the coach to Macclesfield is already nearing a sell-out with over two weeks still to go.

If you haven’t booked your seat and are intending to go, I’d email the Supporters Club fairly quickly!

Earlier in the season, with away performances becoming increasingly difficult viewing for those battle-hardened fans with an almost masochistic urge to watch Coventry self-destruct away from home, numbers for the Supporters’ Club coaches were dropping a little.

Not so now though for the first game back after the Christmas break.

The prospect of a visit to bottom of the table Macclesfield is clearly one that appeals and with the Cheshire-based side winning just two games in total this season, at home against Fylde and Darlington, it’s not hard to see why the trip north might prove popular on the back of the Moseley result.

Success breeds success.

And the first double of the season…?

Hopefully.

I rather imagine that most supporters hope, as I do, that victory against Moseley last weekend might just be  the  incentive the team needs to push on to the next level, a level which has to involve not just an outstanding home record but some greater consistency on our travels as well.

I don’t think it’s unrealistic to believe that Cov can win all 6 of their remaining home games, especially having already played  Hartpury, Plymouth and Moseley. Ampthill remain very much the surprise team of the season for me, lying as they do in third place and 10 points ahead of Cov. However, at home and in front of another decent crowd, I do think we should be strong enough to beat them, especially if we continue to improve as we are.

Away from home we have another 8 games and if we are to make some progress up the table we have to show better form away from the BPA over the second half of the season than we did during the first. Six of those games are against teams below us, so if we can pick up three or hopefully four wins along the way, we should see some upwards movement in the table.

Whilst Hartpury are already, in effect, champions elect, I do think the rest of the league is more open than it was last season. For instance, the sixth place team last season, Rosslyn Park, finished on 95 points (according to Statbunker) – Coventry, presently in sixth are on just 46 (according to the BBC!). In order to overtake Park’s total from last season, Cov are going to have to score 50 points from 14 games at an average of over 3.5 points a game which is  a pretty  big ask considering we’re currently averaging just 2.85 points a game at present.

I reckon that 95 points in April would see us into 5th place at least. Last year, Hartpury averaged 3.47 points a game and finished second overall, behind Richmond, which illustrates just what the task is ahead of Coventry.

Nevertheless, 10 wins from the last 14 games would represent a pretty decent run of form, especially as one of the defeats would probably be against Hartpury, although it would be typical of Cov to push them all the way, having been so poor in the London games.

There are plenty of other targets that can be set over the remaining 14 games…finishing above Moseley would be mine, although now we’ve played them twice it’s out of our hands, really. ‘Keep on winning’ I guess should be the mantra…sung along to the tune of the Spencer Davis Group classic with a similar sounding name.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s interesting that the lack of bar facilities on Saturday still continues to engage the interest of supporters long after any discussion of the game itself has finished. It’s frustrating in many ways because you’d hope that the rugby would be the main talking point after the game and it serves as a clear warning to those in the club who oversee the match day facilities. Get the refreshments/bar/take-way food wrong and you’ll have disgruntled customers who might well think twice about returning.

Saturday was very much an ‘Open Day’  for potential supporters who might have been considering making more regular visits or who have been absent for a while and returned to see what was new, with maybe the intention of renewing their season tickets. In terms of the occasion, of the atmosphere and the rugby, it was a resounding success and those who hadn’t been to Cov before, or were returning after an absence, must surely have been impressed by what they experienced.

But what Cov gives with one hand, it invariably takes away with the other…

Clearly, for many supporters a drink or two at rugby game is de rigeur…always has been and always will be.

And on Saturday, getting a drink proved to be something of a problem. In many respects it’s hard to be critical of the club because Coventry couldn’t have foreseen quite what the size of the gate would be. The 400-500 supporters on top of what even the most optimistic might have ‘guestimated’ meant there was always going to be a drain on resources.

That said,  it wasn’t immediately obvious that there was any real increase in the availability of areas to obtain drink/or staffing above that of a normal match day, other than some queuing areas in the main bar.  Having to wait 20-25 minutes for a drink is a concern. although I hasten to add that it certainly wasn’t  the fault of those serving on the day as they did a great job.

Somehow the club needs to assuage the concerns of supporters who voiced their frustrations way back in July at the SC meeting. How many supporters on Saturday went into the clubhouse, took a look at the queues and went straight back out again before the game and then decided to move on after the final whistle and drink elsewhere, rather than celebrate in the clubhouse?

It’s disappointing because a) that lost the club potential  income in a season where falling attendances has meant monies coming into the club aren’t  as great as might have been hoped or expected and b) some of those supporters might well  have been persuaded by the difficulties they encountered that Coventry RC isn’t quite the social venue they’re looking for.

No delays over at Wasps…

In some respects, the hospitality at Cov is brilliant…350+ meals served before the game at £55 a time means a lot of money coming into the club…getting on for £20000 in fact, which is one hell of a pay day. But so is a couple of thousand  supporters each buying a drink or two and, further, that’s more likely to a be a consistent income generator than hospitality over the course of the season.

I might be wrong, but I would have thought the drinks/refreshments bought by supporters were the club’s ‘bread and butter’ as far as income is concerned…better to invest a little to amass a lot, perhaps?

It’s a really tough call and I don’t know what the answer is…but there are those who in the club who are expected to, but as yet Cov are still suffering the same problems as last season and the season before. Whilst clear improvements have been made on the playing front, especially in terms of the infrastructure to support the team, improvements elsewhere are there to see, but they are not progressing with anything like the same urgency.

The next home game against Blackheath is likely to see another increase on the average gate for the season, not along the lines of that against Moseley but with the ‘Bring a Friend’ offer being reintroduced, you’d hope for a sizeable increase. Hopefully, Cov will be better prepared for the numbers, with improved facilities for those wishing to buy a drink or three. With a three weeks to sort it out, you’d hope so anyway.

I know for many supporters it’s a real issue. It’s less so for me because I tend to want to sit outside and enjoy the atmosphere as the players warm-up and the stand fills, but I am very much in the minority here. It’s not something I’ve mentioned before this season (although I had my say last season)and probably won’t again for a while, but it is something that the club does need to address.

It probably already is being sorted to give the club some credit, but that’s where they should be talking to the Supporters’ Club to let them know exactly what is being done so the SC Committee can feed back to its members…that way, the club ensures that supporters understand what is, or isn’t, happening and there is a natural conduit between club and supporters.

It’s not a big thing especially, although it could become one if crowds increase and little changes. It does needs to be dealt with and supporters told what the improvements are that are being looked at and when supporters can expect to see them implemented.

Supporters will be patient if they know something is happening.

One for the new year, perhaps…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Many thanks again to everyone who has so far voted in the Coventry Rugby Club’s ‘Most Valuable Player’ poll; a fair few voted yesterday. I will keep it open for a couple more days just to give those who don’t read the blog every day a have a chance to take part.

And if voting patterns continue, there might be a couple of surprises on the cards. Certainly it’s all quite tight at the top at the moment…

Further details of MVP poll

You have up to 4 votes…please just tick against the appropriate name(s). You don’t have to use all 4, but by using them you open the vote up to more players which adds a bit more interest.

The players will appear in the poll in a random order, not one that I’ve come up with. If the software works, you should only be allowed to have just one set of 4 votes and once you’ve voted you won’t be able to revote  on a different day or through a different post.

Just before the poll itself…I thought I’d include a great tweet from Adam Canning:

I thought he was superb, too (as I said at the time!), and had it not been for injury, Adam would undoubtedly have added further competition at 10 and probably centre too. As it is, he hasn’t featured in the league this season so sadly doesn’t qualify for the poll!

Nice try though, Adam! Hopefully, Adam will be back playing next season.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s