Club talk

Coventry’s starting XV for Saturday’s trip to Hull…

It’s going to be a tough job, that, selecting the side that takes to the field on Saturday to face Hull Ionians in the opening round of the National One 2017/18 season.

Going to be a tough old season, too…for the supporters as well as the players if it all goes to plan. Fortunately, I gave up playing the guitar years ago as I’m not convinced I’ll have much in the way of finger nails left come next April.

And it all kicks off on Saturday.

A few of us have been mulling over the team these last few weeks now, adding a player here, removing a player there depending on how the team has performed in each of the pre-season friendlies.  At training we’ve swapped thoughts, given reasons as to why it’s Fenner not Maisey (thanks Sam!) and Tolmie not Nilsen one week and explanations as to why we’ve backtracked the week after.

To me, it’s always one of the most enjoyable aspects of pre-season, deciding on your side after weeks of deliberation, wondering how it will compare with the one eventually selected for that opening league game. And usually there are a fair few differences between the two.

With so much competition for places, there are going to be some interesting names failing to make the players’ coach on Saturday.  There will be some disappointed players that’s for sure and one of the many tests for the coaches in the weeks is whether or not they can turn a player’s disappointment into a renewed energy and a desire to break into the team and make the position his own. That healthy competition for places is vital if standards are to remain at levels high enough to compete with the best teams in the league. Good man-management is going to become increasingly important now the season is starting for real.

However, I still think there’ll be a fair bit of rotation in the first half dozen games before the side starts to have a more settled look about it and I reckon the team to face Moseley next weekend will have a somewhat different look to it compared to that of this week’s.

Not massively so, but I think the coaches will see Mose as one of the really big challenges at home this season, if not the biggest given the local rivalry, and they won’t want to reveal too much to Moseley by picking the same, or a very similar side, the week before.

Or maybe not…either way, we won’t have to wait too long to find out now.

Today’s post is your opportunity to pit yourself against the coaches by selecting your own starting XV for Saturday’s trip up to Brantingham Park. Your selections will also be added to everyone else’s to provide a ‘Blog XV’ which will be the team made up of the most popular selections in each position.

Anyone who has taken part in previous polls will know the format – just vote for your choice of players in each category by clicking on the white circle against their name, taking into account the number of selections you can make as indicated at the top of each category.

It’s that simple.

In the front row and back row categories, I’ve added a number in brackets against the names of some players to indicate their preferred position in the case of the props and wing forwards, just to make life a little easier.

I’m hoping I haven’t missed anyone out – if I have please do let me now asap. I’ve also included Kwaku Asiedu and Cameron Gray from the Development Academy as both have played in the senior squad in the last couple of weeks…there should also be a space to add an alternative name not in that particular category, should you feel it appropriate.

Some names appear in more than one category.

For instance, there might be a difference of opinion over James Stokes, with some choosing him  at 15 whilst others might follow RW’s lead from Saturday and want to play Tony Fenner at full back and put James out wide. Others might still prefer Rob Knox in the centres, instead of out wide. And so on.

Hope that all makes sense.

If RW decides to pay Nile Dacres or Tom Jubb in the back row, then I’m scuppered, but then that would  also be true of 99% of those taking part.

The bench will be made up of the best of the rest – ie the next most popular choices in each position, allowing for a 3:2 split in favour of forwards and players who can cover a range of positions (as in in the case of those outside of the specialist front row replacements).

I’ll leave the polls open up to the end of Thursday and put the team in Friday’s post to coincide with the official team announcement.

It’s only for fun obviously and to help pass the time until the team is actually announced – and in fairness, Nick Walshe was very interested to listen to supporters go through their own starting XV at training last week, something RW has done in the past too. I know it’s not for everybody, but these polls always create a bit of interest,so please do give it a go if you can spare a few minutes over the next couple of days.

Many thanks in advance,

Tim

 

 

 

Categories:Club talk

8 replies »

  1. Tim. Just like to say thanks for all your time and effort keeping us all up to date with how things are developing. Let’s hope it goes well on Saturday. If planning and preparation are anything to go by, a win should result, but one cannot count chickens…. to soon.

    Apart from that I am crying in my beer, coz, last February we planned a week in Bordeaux and booked it for 5-12 Sept. Imagine my grief when the fixture list was announced and the main home game versus Moseley came up on the 9th… oh dear! was my reaction.

    Have a great day at Hull, the City of Culture soon…..

    Like

    • Hi Kevin, thanks for the kind remarks!! Always appreciated…
      If you’re going to miss a Cov game, especially the Moseley fixture, then a week in Bordeaux is one of the better reasons. Come Saturday, find yourself a quiet bar/bistro somewhere, with free wifi and log in to the various social media sites to keep yourself updated as to what is happening. And, fingers crossed, you’ll be able to read some positive reviews of the game from folk on the MB on Sunday morning!
      Not the same as being there, but tolerable still…

      Like

  2. I’m assuming that Dacres,Poole and White will be fit. Maisey just gets the nod at 10 for me,leaving Fenner on the bench as cover for full back as well.
    I liked the look of Stevens and Grove at centre with Tuitoupu on the bench for an impact late on.
    Litchfield,Tolmie and Daynes would be my chosen forward replacements, feel sorry for Povoas though,as he’s been very prominent in the friendlies.
    Wouldn’t it be nice to have a bench of 7…….
    Why don’t they…?

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    • Don’t start me on the bench of 7 argument…I’m definitely with you on that…actually think it potentially could lead to injuries with players having to stay on longer…anyway, Daynes seems the likely forward outside of the front row on the bench as he can cover the second row to0. I’d reverse Tuitupou and Grove but as a finisher Sammy could cause huge problems…just think he might be more effective doing the damage early on!

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  3. Morning Tim.
    I confess that I’m not a big fan of the ‘horses for courses’ approach to selection. I’m hoping this season that our best starting team is settled on asap and only tinkered with as fitness and form dictate.
    If you look at the most successful teams in any sport they tend, I believe, to select the best players available and let the opposition worry about how to counter the threat.
    Just my take on things – early results will, of course, be a deciding factor…

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    • I’m in agreement really – always seems sensible to play your strongest team BUT with so much depth in the squad, there are players who need games beyond the level of the Zoo League to keep them happy…if the quality of the top 25 allows for some sort of rotation then I guess that is another alternative…

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  4. Interesting. I wonder if you will get any teams sheets the same from different supporters?
    I think a couple more of those are potentially not up for selection due to injury aren’t they… Dacres, potentially Poole and potentially White. I have selected Poole however.

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    • Very few would be in agreement…not sure about Matoto either as he wasn’t around on Saturday. I do like the look of George Oram as well…plenty of choice when all fit

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