Caldy are one of the growing number of National One sides that now release a podcast every week and, having listened to this week’s offering, they’re definitely a side that deserve respect.
Down to earth and just happy to be where they are.
They’ll give it their best shot and, above all, enjoy the ride.
To the uninitiated, a podcast is an audio or video file that can be downloaded at anytime and the file listened to at a later date without the need for the Internet.
For many, they are a quick and convenient way of accessing the spoken word.
They’re not for me, although my wife follows several on a weekly or even daily basis.
However, on this occasion I did listen to Caldy’s ‘Weekly Warm Up Podcast’ as some of it related to today’s game. It consisted of an interviewer and a number of players from both the 1st and 2nd teams, as well as the club physio.
It’s all a bit rough and ready and there’s no production to speak of, but it’s an additional way of providing club updates other than by features/articles on the website.
In the podcast, players are honest in their appraisal of the Ampthill game, suggesting that they started slowly, as they have done all season, and gave the opposition a soft early lead. Despite the game being fairly close for much of the next 40-50 minutes, Caldy were playing catch-up. Ampthill did have the lion’s share of the possession and were able to put together spells of 20 plus phases which meant that they better controlled the game.
Caldy, it seems, have been guilty all season of needing to ‘get out of the blocks quicker’ and avoid paying the opposition too much respect.
From listening to the podcast, it does seem as if the players are frustrated because they are losing games early on, yet competing well for long periods over the remainder of the game – as one of the players says, it’s all about ‘small margins‘.
As far as today’s games is concerned, the players see Cov as the ‘big dogs‘ (!) in this division and themselves as the smallest team. Cov is very much in a ‘different league‘ to themselves and everyone else at the moment and it’s their intention to have a good day out, have a go and see what happens – if they can put pressure on us with a quick tempo from the start, then we might put pressure on ourselves.
They feel they must ‘buy in together as a club’ – the advantage they see themselves as having is that they’ve been together for ‘years and years and years’ whilst ‘those guys have been brought together as a unit to be promoted’.
However uncomfortable that might be to listen to, there is an element of truth in what is being said – we saw something similar with Bishop’s Stortford and they pushed us all the way. One of the players went on to say that really Caldy should be ‘relishing the opportunity to play guys who have played 2,3 4 leagues above us for most of our careers’ and it’s an opportunity for them to prove that they’re not too far behind.
It’s worth a listen and what is said is probably very similar to what you might hear from any coach or captain in pre-match discussions with their players visiting the BPA for the first time. This is a big game for them, the biggest of their career in some cases and, as is said in the podcast:
It’s irrelevant what happens…we’ll always hold our heads up ‘cos we are Caldy Rugby Club and that’s what we do
Great stuff and if I were a Caldy supporter travelling down with the team, that’s exactly the kind of thing I’d want to be hearing from the team.
Also, following something the physio said, it looks as Caldy is going to ‘play it tactically’; one or two players who are carrying knocks will be given a rest. That, to me, suggests that they see the win as probably unlikely and want to save key players for those games they have ear-marked as being more ‘winnable’?
The performance rather than the result is what they’ll be looking for perhaps…and maybe that is the right approach. A win would only result from a good performance anyway.
It was an interesting 10 minutes or so of listening time, although only about 3 or 4 were relevant to the Cov game. Now that we’ve got some quality IT support in place, maybe podcasting is something that Cov could look to offer in the future. It’s a cheap and easy way of getting plenty of information across to a wider audience and is only a small step up from the clips of RW’s post-match interviews on Twitter.
The other good thing about it is that you get to hear the players talking about themselves and the club which is something that had always been a bit of a rarity prior to John Wilkinson’s excellent weekly interviews. Players always come across very differently speaking in person rather than on paper.
If you want to listen to the podcast, I’ve included the link below. The section relating to Cov starts around at 6:13.
When the recording was made, the Caldy players were obviously unaware of Sam Tuitupou’s ban – he is the only player mentioned by name and the players are asked if selection in the centres is made to ‘match that’ (ie Sam’s threat). The response was refreshingly honest: ‘to be honest, no one is going to match Sammy Tuitupou in the centres in this league!’
Heath’s absence is a blow, there’s no two ways about it, and Sam Tuitupou’s suspension becomes all the more frustrating as a result, although fortunately it’s nowhere near as long as it might have been. And in Rob Knox we have someone who has played much of his rugby in the centres, alongside Anthony Fenner who has a great tactical brain, is defensively as good a three-quarter as we have in the squad and who has the ability to unlock defences as well.
Added to that we have Will controlling the game from fly half and a scrum half who has plenty of Premiership experience and should relish playing in this league where he’ll probably find he’s got a little bit more time and space to work in than he’s used to.
Tom Kessell and Fraser Dingwall’s recent arrival have probably come about as a result of Rowland Winter’s previous links to Northampton and the fact that Saints are prepared to loan both players out to a National One club rather than one in the Championship shows how highly they rate both RW and this present Coventry squad. Whilst Tom is only here until January, if he’s impressed with the set up here and isn’t getting the kind of opportunities he’d hoped for at Northampton, then promotion into the Championship might make Cov an attractive option next season.
Cov seem to look after their loanees well, so if Northampton are happy with what is being offered their players whilst here, that can only help us in the future.
It’s good to see how quickly Cov has reacted to London Scottish’s inability to fulfil the Zoo Shield game this weekend. Many of the players who would have played for our Academy side have been loaned out to local clubs over the weekend, so at least they will be getting valuable game time that they would have otherwise have missed.
I guess there were a few last minute phone calls made in order for that to happen, but again it shows how far the club has gone in rebuilding the links with the junior clubs in and around Coventry – 18 months ago I’m not so sure that would have happened. I remember RW saying at the first Fans’ Forum that it was his intention to bring them back on board and it would appear he is succeeding – a reciprocal arrangement that benefits all parties must surely be in everyone’s interests?
I’m hoping for another good crowd today. With well over 1500 watching Bishop’s Stortford a couple of weeks ago, you’d expect there to be a similar sort of attendance for the Caldy game. It’s not a glamorous fixture in the way that a Plymouth, Blackheath or Darlington home game might be (leaving aside Moseley), but it certainly should appeal given that we are unbeaten and continue to top the table.
For Coventry to increase their lead over the chasing three clubs this weekend, there would have to be a shock or two, with perhaps OE trip to Blackheath being the only fixture where perhaps a surprise result could be on the cards. OEs are our hosts next weekend so that game will be of some interest, but both Plymouth and Darlington look to have what should be straightforward games, as far as that is possible in this league.
In the meantime, Cov has got to overcome a Caldy side that will come here with little to lose and everything to gain. They are clearly a side proud of their successes over the years and a team that close who work hard for each other. Cov will have to do the same if they are to beat Caldy.
Cov certainly has the armoury and I’m sure that the players will be keen to dedicate the win to Heath Stevens who is such an important part of this current squad.
By all accounts Heath has loved being back at Cov, as supporters have loved having him back…one of Cov’s favourite son’s in the last few seasons.
As always, I’ll be tweeting updates from the first team game this afternoon. Both Cov and Caldy have a match day Twitter feed, although mostly just the scores and main moments in the game. Caldy’s Twitter account is @CaldyRUFC and Cov’s is @CoventryRugby
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, a lot 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.
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!