Coventry Rugby 2016/17 – ‘he’s leavin’ the life he’s come to know…’
… Proved too much for the man
Too much for the man, he couldn’t make it
So he’s leavin’ the life he’s come to know uhoo
He said he’s goin’
He said he’s goin’ back to find
Goin’ back to find
Ooh, what’s left of his world
The world he left behind
Not so long ago
Gladys Knight and the Pips – Midnight Train to Georgia
Whilst most supporters are currently looking to the future, and understandably so in the light of the progress Coventry Rugby has made over the last 9 months, I thought I’d spend a brief moment just reflecting on those players who have been part of the journey for some or all of this season but who are now, for whatever reason, treading a different path.
Back in September the first team squad totalled 34 by my reckoning, without taking into account the 5 dual registered players most of whom have played a significant part in the club’s success.
Over the course of the season we have lost 15 including Adam Canning, although there is some uncertainty on my part regarding Adam’s current situation position within the club. I have included him in the list of leavers simply because I’ve heard no mention of his retention over the last few weeks, but this might not be the case so apologies if he is to remain with us next season. Wherever Adam is in September, I hope he’ll be in training to play some level of rugby in the near future.
We’ve probably lost more players than was originally expected back in September, with only 56% of the original squad remaining for the 2017/18 season (if my figures are correct). I think Rowland Winter originally envisaged a figure of around 80% at the start of the season, but such has been the expectations in performance and the quality of those coming in to bolster the squad over the summer that it’s hardly surprising that initial ‘guestimate’ has increased.
Players like Alex Smith (2 appearances as a replacement), Adam Canning (0 appearances), Callum MacBurnie (2 starts) and Rob Conquest (4 starts) barely featured at all and thus have skewed the final figure somewhat.
Some have gone by choice, some because they haven’t been able to produce the necessary levels of performance or others still because of a lack of opportunity. And in one notable case, a player had to leave as a result of off-the-field behaviour.
Whatever the reasons, I hope that all the players who have left us go on to successful seasons wherever they end up. Hopefully one or two of them will be returning to the BPA next season wearing the badges of other National One teams, or maybe in Darrel’s case in two season’s time wearing the Championship jersey of Hartpury!
If that is the case, I am sure we will welcome them back, until kick off at least…and of course after the final whistle as well.
Players like Dan Rundle and Callum MacBurnie will be especially missed, having been with us for a number of seasons and having been such an integral part of the 2014/15 squad that for a brief period topped the National One table. Others will have had far less experience of playing in front of the Coventry crowds, but whatever their length of service, I wish them all well and hope they enjoyed their time with us and that they’ll be able to take away some happy memories.
And it would be good if, looking back in two or three years time, the players who have moved on this season can say they were there at the start of something special, the beginnings of a Coventry resurgence.
To all those 15 players, a fond farewell and all the very best for the next stage in your rugby careers. I trust you will have learned things from your time here that will hold you in good stead over the following months and years and that you’ll be able to look back fondly at the time your spent with Coventry Rugby.
And here are a few photos of those who have come and gone.
Thanks for the memories:
- Jay Heath
- James Pritchard
- Alex Smit
- Dan Rundle
- Corey Hircock
- Callum MacBurnie
- Adam Canning
- Rhodri Adamson
- Sam Grasso
- Ali Bone
- Sam Harry
- Eoghan Grace
- Darrel Dyer
- Rob Conquest
- Brendon Snyman
Just click once on the first photo and they should all appear in an ‘album’…
The end of a the season and time for a bit of soul…
If you’re just 13 years old and destined to fall in love with a voice…this one as it happens
Gladys Knight and the Pips – Midnight Train To Georgia…
(I watched this clip 5 times whilst writing this post – just brilliant….)