Club talk

The Blue and White Army takes to the road…

We’re the Blue and White army,
We’re the Blue and White army,
We’re the Blue and White army,
We’re the Blue and White army,
We’re the Blue and White army,
We’re the Blue and White army,
We’re the Blue and White army…

Peterborough United Fans – Blue and White Army

Apologies to Posh supporters for plagiarising this highly original and innovative terrace chant, one they apparently took days to come up with.

It’s certainly catchy, has no words over three syllables and is easy to learn…three important criteria when creating a potentially timeless football classic such as this.

I’m sure Cov supporters would be happy for them to adapt Cov’s very own ‘COVENTRY COVENTRY COVENTRY’ by way of thanks.

But for today at least, and hopefully on a few more away weekends to come this season, we are THE blue and white army…

…and we’re on the march.

 

And I’m sure as heck banking on Cambridge playing in their usual home strip – if Cov play in their red and white away kit, aren’t I going to look stupid?

Again.

 

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Thank you for booking a seat on the coach to Cambridge, due to demand we are taking two coaches, ‘A’ & ‘B’, please see the updated travel details below:-

You will be on Coach ‘A’

Now there’s a message from the Supporters’ Club that I didn’t think I’d be receiving just five away games into the season.

Allocations of seats?

Coaches ‘A’ and ‘B’?

90 plus supporters travelling down to Cambridge via transport arranged by the Supporters’ Club.

Fantastic.

When was the last time a club brought two coaches of away supporters to the BPA – surely not since we’ve been in National One, which would take us back to the 2009/10 season at the earliest?

It was mentioned at the start of the season as something to aim for, perhaps later in the season and against one of the teams we’d be battling it out with at the top of the table, maybe Plymouth, Ampthill or the like.

That it has come so early and against a club that probably hasn’t been on the most popular away days for Coventry supporters in the past, is down to a number of factors, one of which is the efforts that Cambridge has gone to in order to make Cov supporters  so welcome for today’s game.

Cambridge has generously offered all Coventry Supporters’ Club members a £5 reduction in the cost of ground admission, a reduction of 33%. That’s a potential shortfall £450 on the numbers we’re bringing across (ignoring concessions etc) which, for a club that isn’t cash-rich by any stretch of the imagination, is a big hit. Hopefully, the additional bar/food receipts both before and after the game, with many supporters enjoying a pre-match buffet in the comfort of a room with a bar allocated for the sole use of our own supporters.

With an average attendance of 420 at Cambridge this season, the extra Coventry support could well see tomorrow’s game providing one of Volac Park’s largest gates of the season.

The package Cambridge has put together is certainly an attractive one and shows how such hospitality can reap its own rewards.

Coventry’s current run of form is obviously another factor in the number of supporters willing to make the journey today, with the team top of the league with a 6 point gap between ourselves and Blackheath and playing some entertaining rugby in the process.

Another reason for the almost exponential growth  in Cov’s fantastic away support is the success of the Supporters’ Club.

There are now over 200 members and counting. The committee has worked exceptionally hard to put together a programme of events that offers something  for everyone and with the activities that have so far been organised being well run and enjoyed by those taking part, there’s every reason to think a few more still may be joining over the remainder of the season.

The SC offers a very cheap travel alternative for supporters like myself who have always relied on public transport to get to away games in the past, and the ease and comfort of travelling by coach is greatly appreciated by many who would otherwise have travelled by car. Those who oversee the coaches on the day, SC committee members themselves, do a fantastic job and they deserve a mention by name – so today, Paul Ingleston and Steve Hood, take a bow.

That said, I do worry a little about the additional workload that the Committee members are taking on as a result of the interest in away day travel with the numbers involved being far greater than was originally expected. The work involved in the running of the coaches has increased no end and involves a level of admin now that can’t have been envisaged back in September when the committee was elected. I hope it never becomes a millstone around its neck; it’s efforts are hugely appreciated, if not always articulated.

A couple of things I forgot to mention that also came out of Thursday’s training session…first, despite the intensity of the training there was still time for players to show that they were all in good spirits.

Take Sam Tuitupou for example – at one point he sneaked up behind Ron Kempin, the assistant team manager, and pulled down his tracksuit bottoms from behind – all very immature but still highly amusing and taken in good humour by Ron. Sam wasn’t aware that others were watching and he ran off chuckling away to himself. I guess if you’re going to be pranked like that, having it done by a former All Black makes it slightly more bearable.

If only someone had captured it on camera…

Brendan Burke was back at training, now fully recovered from the couple of displaced/cracked ribs he suffered during the friendly at Leicester Lions (I think) – from where I was sitting it looked as if Rowland Winter was finding it very hard keeping a straight face when he explained the incident leading up to the injury. It appears that Kwaku Asiedu, the frighteningly big and powerful Development Academy wing, landed on top of him in a tackle – whilst it amused RW, it was greeted with somewhat more sympathy by the supporters.

I also forgot to include an update on the club’s proposed move from grass to a synthetic surface, as has been widely reported for the last 12 months or so now. If it is to go ahead in time for the start of next season, the club will have to have everything in place by the end of December/early January.

As best as I can recall, Rowland Winter confirmed the club is still pursuing the possibility,  but funding through the various grants is difficult because of the many conditions attached to them. Also, these grants tend to be glorified loans that have to be paid back, which defeats the object somewhat if one of the main reasons for the rugby club moving to a synthetic surface is to provide a further source revenue to support its own expansion.

The club is also looking at ways of self-financing the cost of an artificial pitch. Whilst the sums involved are large, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility, with a number of funding streams in the pipeline. I got the distinct impression it’s the route the club would prefer to take if it could be arranged.

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

1a

The weather in Cambridge tomorrow looks set reasonably fair; cloudy but warmish, so at least I can put the long johns away for another couple of weeks.

The lack of rain is a bonus. With the Development Squad playing away from the main pitch, there’s almost certainly going to be no shelter, so for the those supporters who will watch at least some of the game, there shouldn’t be any need for protection against the elements.

I’m hoping to see players like Fenner, Jubb and Setu in action once again after what has been a fairly lengthy absence for all of them, and there’s also the two rugby league players involved as well as an exciting back division that looks to be full of potential,  even without Louis Roach involved.

Hopefully, I’ll take a few photos of the Development Squad during their warm-up – there will be at least a couple of new faces involved in the match day squad.

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

As always, I’ll be tweeting updates from the first team game this afternoon, although I imagine both Cambridge and Coventry will do something similar. Cambridge’s Twitter (@camrufc) feed is particularly impressive and is well worth a follow and in recent weeks Coventry’s match day updates have been much improved.

If you’re looking for no more than score updates and the odd comment, then certainly both of those will provide what you’re looking for.

I tend to tweet far more, so if you’re at home and just surfing the net trying to find out anything you can about the game, this might be a different option.  The tweets, when combined, make a crude  ‘commentary’ of sorts. Be warned though, you might get well over a 130 plus tweets during the course of the game – so  if that is too much, mute me and use the two club’s official feeds.

Please bear in mind, I am a bit one-eyed when I tweet, covering more than just the scores as they occur.

I’m on @Cowshedtim

Apologies in advance for some of the typos that appear. For some though, deciphering my tweets adds to the occasion.

If you aren’t familiar with Twitter or don’t have an account, then on the homepage of this blog (www.coventryrfc.me) all the tweets will appear in real time on the far right of the page, towards the top end. Click on it to increase its size.

Up the Cov!

 

 

 

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