A very merry Christmas and a happy New Year to everyone involved with Coventry RFC – players, coaches, backroom staff, the Board and, of course, the supporters.
Season’s greetings as well to everyone who has come across to read the blog over the last 12 months, especially those who have added their own comments, something which I greatly appreciate.
And what a 12 months it has been…down one moment, up the next. Supporting Cov is never dull, that’s for sure.
However, there seems to be some stability now and hopefully we’ll see steady progress over the remain weeks of this season and a more sustained attack on promotion from September onwards.
The next 12 months are arguably the most important since we’ve been in National 1 and it’s encouraging to see so many folk get behind the Club as it works towards getting Cov back where it belongs – into the top echelons of national rugby.
Merry Christmas everyone…
And on this, the first day of Christmas, in 12th place overall with a total of 5 starts, you voted for:
Originally, I’d expected Boris to feature much higher but that was because I was ignoring my own rules. As a player, Boris isn’t nearly as influential as he is a coach, so quite rightly people have voted accordingly…as a coach he would arguably be the most valuable asset in terms of club personnel behind Rowland Winter, although there are others who might well have something to say about that as we’ll see in a few days’ time.
There’s no doubting the influence Boris has had though.
I can only think of one game during the season so far, including the pre-season friendlies against Championship sides, in which the opposition has come close to matching our scrum. It has been the dominant area in every game, the platform on which so many of our best performances have been based.
I attended Coventry’s very first open training session and watched in awe as Boris took the scrum through the first contact sessions, initially involving just the front rows but ending up with a full eight on eight.
He had all the players under his spell, they were completely focused on what he had to say. There wasn’t time for anything other than a short explanation, usually a demonstration and then a practice, repeated for until Boris was satisfied, at which point he’d move on to the next training point.
It was hugely impressive.
I understand Boris had a say in the forwards who were recruited pre-season and it is clear that he knew exactly what he was looking for. With the exception of Matt Price, I think the front rowers were all under 30 when they arrived and if we can keep them together over the next couple of seasons, they are only going to get better under Boris’ tutelage.
In some respects I didn’t envy the new coaches as they took over the mantle from Dave Addleton, a Coventry icon if ever there was one. Whilst Dave will always be a hero for what he achieved on the pitch, and off it in his post-playing days, Boris’ arrival quickly seemed to show the effectiveness of the coaching under first Phil Maynard and then Scott Morgan.
It might well be that the likes of Matt Price, Tom Poole and Brett Daynes, players who have experienced both set-ups, would beg to differ, but to an outsider like myself, it seems as if there is more structure and a slightly more professional approach to what the coaches offer under the present system. That’s not to take away anything from what the was achieved in the previous three years, it is more a comment on the effectiveness of the last six months…
The other thing about Boris is that he has become a real favourite of the Coventry faithful in such a short space of time. Part of that is down to the respect we have for him and for what he has achieved over such a long and distinguished career. That said, there is something else about Boris, about his appearance and demeanour, that make you warm to him. He looks every inch a prop, but a modern day prop…no excess weight, muscular and formidable to look at – he’s the kind of guy who as a kid you’d always pick first when you’re selected as captain and told to choose from those lined up in front of you. He just looks as if he’s in control and you’re sure as hell not going to argue with him.
Best to have him on your side, definitely.
But also the kind of bloke, judging from the couple of occasions I’ve heard him speak to supporters, who would be good company over a pint or two on an evening…down to earth, dry sense of humour and probably full of the most interesting of anecdotes.
I understand that once Boris has had some treatment for a recurring knee problem over the summer, it is hoped that he will continue playing in some form next season as well. If that is the case, then that would be a real bonus as even in 40 -60 minute shifts, Boris would be a real handful against any National 1 opposition.
So Boris makes the list in 12th place.
Who will be in 11th place?
All will be revealed tomorrow.