Club talk

On the Sixth Day of Christmas…

We’re halfway there
We’re looking good now
And nothing’s gonna get in the way
We’re halfway there
And looking back now
I never thought that I’d ever say
We’re halfway there
We’re halfway there

Big Time Rush – We’re Halfway There

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

Day 6 of the ‘Coventry’s Most Valuable Player’ poll.

And in 7th place, you voted for:

Andy Brown.

Congratulations, Andy.

Image result for andy brown coventryAnd it’s an improvement, too, on last year’s poll when he appeared in ninth place…

It’s been a really impressive 12 months for Andy, including being selected to represent England Counties, recognition for a string of excellent performances in a Coventry side that underperformed in most other areas last season.

In player polls props don’t often feature strongly but Andy has bucked the trend. Supporters have warmed to Andy because they appreciate that he is a player who quietly gets on with the job, in one of the toughest positions in the team, and has been a key member of a front row that has dominated near enough every team they’ve come up against so far this season.

Much was rightly made of the impending arrival of Boris Stankovich when it was first announced, both as a coach and a player. Indeed, Boris’ performances have indeed been mightily impressive, but when Boris has been rested or injured or simply ‘rotated’, Andy has produced performances on a par with those we’ve seen from the more experienced loose-head. And under Boris’ guidance, you can only hope that he’ll get better with age and, at 27, he still has many years ahead of him.

Boris won’t have too much longer in the game as a player, and in Andy the club has the ideal replacement. He, Phil Boulton and Jimmy Litchfield been  just about the perfect combination of props alongside Boris and he would be another player you’d hope would still be here if and when Cov reach the Championship.

I’m not altogether sure just how many games Andy has played for Cov since he joined back in 2013 as Statbunker’s figures don’t quite tally…however, it would seem that he has made somewhere in the region of 96 appearances in all with 73 starts.  In terms of National 1 games, he has made 87 appearances, starting 73 times and appearing on the bench on a further 14 occasions – which leaves 9 games unaccounted for…pre-seasons perhaps? Whatever the correct figure, Andy is certainly one of the more experienced members of the squad now and come the end of the season he will either have reached the magic 100 mark or be very close to it, provided he remains injury free.

The table below gives an indication of just how high up on the list of Coventry all-time National 1 appearances Andy is – he is in some very respected company.

Interesting, too, that all the players above Andy are in the current squad…

National One Coventry All time appearances – 2010-2016 (Dec)

Players Total Start CO Sub Off Points
Matt Price 159 105 54 61 75 115
Brett Daynes 113 102 11 12 27 115
Tom Poole 103 92 11 13 23 35
Clifford Hodgson 98 95 3 3 15 1012
Andy Brown 87 73 14 14 36 30

One statistic that isn’t included in the above, but which is quite a telling one, is that in the 96 appearances Andy has made for the club he has only received one yellow card.

Now for a forward having played getting on for 100 games, I think that’s a pretty impressive record, given that Tom Poole has 10 to his name and Matt Price 11. It shows just what an excellent temperament Andy has and whilst it’s always good to have players who are aggressive and play within the laws of the game, so too is it essential to have those who won’t lose their composure in the heat of a game, especially when it is particularly close.

Andy has scored 6 tries in total in National 1 games since he’s been at Cov and of those six, five have been long forgotten by most supporters. However, one, against Fylde back in October of this year, will live long in the memory.

Receiving the ball out wide (what was he doing there?) and with two centres to beat and well over 20 metres out, Andy threw the most outrageous of dummies that you could ever wish to see (provided it’s from your team and not the opposition!). It completely wrong-footed the defence and allowed Andy to ghost in, unopposed.

It was as audacious as it was brilliant.

The clip below is from YouTube, filmed once again by Camera Shake (who did a brilliant job putting in the slow mo’ – nice touch!) captures the moment perfectly. If you haven’t seen it before then you really ought to watch it and if you have seen it…well, just relive it!

I’m sure that Andy will have dined off that one  once or twice!

Andy also appeared in The Rugby Paper’s ‘Room 101’ back in November 2015. For those of you unfamiliar with the idea behind Room 101, it is basically a take on George Orwell’s Room 101 from the dystopian world of ‘1984’ in which the Ministry of Love confronts prisoners with their worst nightmares in order to break their will.

For those interested in knowing Andy’s three pet hates…

Andy Brown – The Rugby Paper’s Room 101

When the list of players retained for next season is finally released come the end of the season, I really hope that Andy Brown’s name is on it.

If Coventry is to make a sustained challenge on the Championship over the next couple of seasons, it is important that they keep hold of players like Andy Brown.

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

6 days gone, 6 days to go…

We’re half way there…

(Have to blame my grandchildren for this one…

…embarrassing)

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