All kinds of everything…

19Dec - by Tim - 10 - In Club talk

You call the shots and they follow
I watch you still from a distance then go

Maybe tomorrow, maybe someday 

You’ve changed your place in this world
You’ve changed your place in this world

The Pretenders – Talk Of The Town

A bit of a smorgasbord, this one…

Whilst the senior squad might have missed out on any competitive rugby over the weekend, last night was a busy night for some of the youngsters, with at least 7 players currently attached to Coventry involved in two A League fixtures, Leicester Tigers v Northampton Wanderers and Wasps v Sale Jets.

Northampton have included Luc Jeannot, Tom Kessell, Fraser Dingwall and Tom Emery in their match day squad, whilst Wasps have Jacob Umaga, Cameron Gray and Kwaku Asiedu starting for them. (See below for additional info).

And that’s great news in particular for Development Squad players Jeannot (Saints), Gray and Asiedu (Wasps) who have an opportunity to play with what must arguably be some of the most promising youngsters in the country – you just can’t buy experience like that.

And they are there on merit.

Both Cameron and Luc have played several times already, but as far as I’m aware this is Kwaku’s first A League appearances – I hope he had some decent ball to play with.

There are also plenty of other players involved with strong links to Coventry over the past couple of seasons or so – George Worth, Fred Tuilagi, Rory Hutchinson, Gabriel Oghre and Owain James to name but five!

Rather more tenuous, these, but Devante Onojaife is Jordan’s brother who was with us under Scott Morgan and, of course, Tom Hardwick is Rob’s son.

I’m sure there’ll be other connections there that I’m not even aware of.

All a bit incestuous really!

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It’s good to see that Coventry’s partnerships with the Premiership clubs is very much a two-way affair these days, with the clubs able to call on each other as and when required. When Wasps first arrived on the scene I think many supporters questioned what Coventry could offer in return, but Cov’s drive to be the top team in National One seems to have convinced clubs like Wasps and particularly Northampton to loan out players to Cov in preference to some Championship sides (which is certainly the case with Fraser Dingwall).

With Rowland Winter at the helm, Northampton know exactly what sort of environment their players will going into, and that must surely help.

Prior to RW’s arrival, players like Hutchinson, Onojaife and Worth, clearly very talented players who have played Premiership rugby since being at Cov, never really struck me as being of quite that quality. We just didn’t seem able to bring out the best in them.

In the 2015/16 season, Cov struggled all season and with the number of injuries we had so early on, we were forced to rely on a number of dual registered players, including Farnworth, Hicks, Hutchinson and Worth.

In a weak side, none of them really stood out quite as much as one might have expected, although in fairness George Tressider, from Leicester Tigers, did look the part for the 7 games he played.

However, since RW has been at Cov, the dual regs have been extremely effective, with the likes of Owain James, Tom Howe and Tom Willis last season, and Tom Emery, Tom Kessell, Fraser Dingwall and Gabriel Oghre this season, all impressing whilst with us.

Maybe it’s the quality of the players around them that makes the difference, or the fact that RW knows exactly the kind of player he wants and understands who will best fit into the current squad and is in a better position to argue his case than Scott Morgan or Phil Maynard ever were.

Or maybe they are just looked after a bit better.

Whatever the reason, they have all excelled whilst with us.

The dual reg system has worked very well for Coventry over the last couple of seasons. We have refrained from over-using it, unlike some teams in National One, with players like Howe, James, Kessell, Emery and Dingwall all joining us after Cov players sustained injuries that kept them out of the team for lengthy periods and when we were already down to the bare bones in those positions.

The only one that perhaps didn’t quite live up to expectations, for me anyway, was Freddie Tuilagi, but much of that was my fault having watched a previous generation of Tuilagis and believing Freddie would be the next in line to succeed. He’s probably not quite there yet, but the lad did well enough and clearly Leicester are sticking with him.

Hopefully, everyone involved from Coventry in last night’s games will have come out of them unscathed and with their reputations further enhanced.

Whilst there’s no Zoo League fixture for the Development squad unfortunately next weekend, at least not according to the official site, we might expect to see Emery, Kessell and Dingwall in the senior match day squad, if not one or two others.

If I find out the scores I’ll include them in tomorrow’s post – which should be an interesting one…

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Late addendum!

Many thanks to Richard G who sent me  a message which I only picked up after having written this section of the post, mentioning that Pete White had been injured again in the Wasps A League game – desperate news for Pete, but hopefully nothing as serious as before. 

By all accounts, according to the Cov website, Olly Povoas, Tom Jubb and Will Priestley were also playing but were not included on Wasps’ original team list…a good run our for them, too, hopefully.

Also according to the website,  Kai Owen played for Worcester Cavaliers against Newcastle Falcons at Sixways, although his isn’t a name I’m familiar to be honest…apologies to Kai.

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Coundon1

Okay -a bit of help needed here please…

I was very kindly forwarded a photo of the old Coundon Road ground, but with no clubhouse in the top left-hand corner as you look at it,  it all looks very different from Coundon Road I remember, so I’m guessing it must have been taken well before I started going to games in the earlyish 60s.

And as was pointed out to me, there’s not a car in sight.

I’m sure there will be many who recognise the various landmarks around the ground, but not coming from Cov myself, I’m struggling somewhat. There’s the Carbodies factory in the foreground (?) and in the far left, centre photo, is the junction on the corner of which stood a sweet shop where my parents would take me as a very young child before every game – a pre-match bribe in retrospect!

Just up from the old Coundon Road ground was a crossroads and a row of general retailers, one of which was a sweet shop. About 45 minutes before a match on a Saturday, my dad would walk me up there to ‘choose’ from the plethora of brightly coloured jars that adorned the walls in neat rows. I was allowed 4 oz of confectionery and it came in a little paper bag that I would clutch in my pocket, never choosing to sample the contents until we were safely ensconced in our regular seats within the ground (or bench as it was in those days – benches which over the years became so worn and smooth they loo to all the world as if they were polished).

(…from one of the early posts back in 2015)

Perhaps Istanbul’s is my own version with Sam (a self-sacrifice on my part, obviously)…

The railway track is clearly visible – I’m presuming it’s the same line that passes the BPA?

We used to leave the car on Tomson Avenue, although only after everyone stopped parking at 90° to the pavement on the main road immediately in front of the ground (I’m sure I’m not making that up..?).

The Cowshed still looks in pretty good condition, so that dates the photo, too. Remember the rust…?

Anyway, if someone could guestimate when the photo might have been taken I’d be really grateful – it’s brought back some happy memories. Sam hasn’t seen it as yet, so it will be interesting to see what it evokes in him…

…at 92 and having first watched Cov in 1943, my mum will be in her element!

It’s lovely how just one photo can summon up so much from bygone times – which is exactly why we need an area in the clubhouse dedicated to Cov’s past…

…and with a trophy cabinet big enough to cater for its future.

Any thoughts on the photo would be most welcome…

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Simon J standing behind the Coventry dugout at Old Elthamians 🙂

A couple of decent sized crowds in National One over the weekend…

Plymouth had their highest attendance of the season, a gate of some 1232 to see the home side defeat Old Albanian 26-8. Plymouth scored the bonus point try in the 80th minute and by all accounts it was a less than convincing performance, although Cov also struggled against the same side back in October. Plymouth are some 16 points behind Cov, and they also have a game in hand following the postponed Moseley fixture the week before.

However, by far the biggest gate of the week was at Old Elthamians, where 1653 watched the club’s first ever competitive game against Blackheath, despite the two being little over two miles apart.

Having been down at OE earlier in the season, quite how 1600+ supporters would watch a game there is an interesting one – with no seating of any sort, the supporters must have been three or four deep in places which would make for some interesting viewing at times.

I guess so many people huddled together might have countered the freezing cold temperatures, but even so…

 

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Many thanks to everyone who has so far voted in the Coventry Rugby Club’s ‘Most Valuable Player’  (MVP) 2017 poll.

I’m hugely grateful, and somewhat relieved, that so many folk have already cast their votes, but I will keep it open for the remainder of the week just to allow those who don’t read the blog every day the chance to take part.

And if voting patterns continue, once again there might be a couple of surprises on the cards. I’ll say no more.

Further details of the poll

You have up to 4 votes…please just tick against the appropriate name(s). You don’t have to use all 4, but by using them you open the vote up to more players which adds a bit more interest.

The players will appear in the poll in a random order, not one that I’ve come up with. If the software works, you should only be allowed to have just one set of 4 votes and once you’ve voted you won’t be able to re-vote on a different day or through a different post on the same computer/phone.

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It’s not Wasps these days that are the talk of the town, it’s Coventry – and about time too.

Maybe tomorrow, maybe someday
You’ve changed your place in this world

Cov’s place in the rugby world is changing and it’s not now a question of maybe, just when…

Following the announcement that The Pretenders are to play at the BPA, they were always going to get a mention here  – and with so mention songs to choose from, I’ve been spoiled for choice. Brass in Pocket was the obvious one, given Cov should do well financially from hosting the evening, but it was a bit too predictable.

Talk of the Town works for me.

Chrissie Hynde first caught my attention when, in an article in NME in probably 1979 or 80, she claimed she performed on TotP wearing no underwear.

At the tender age of 20 that was enough for me – a fan for life…

The  cameraman’s opening angle on Chrissie is a bit of a giveaway – he knew…

10 thoughts on “All kinds of everything…”

  1. I drive past there most mornings on my way in to work and this morning took a little more notice.. some of the houses are on that picture, but not all, and my nans is definitely missing and I know was built in the 20s.
    Visiting her as a child I remember how busy it was around there on match days.. and am I right in thinking the turnstiles were visible from the road?
    Incidentally, Duckham Close leads on to the new housing built on the site, and leads to Cole Way.

  2. The estate adjacent to Moseley Avenue, and north of the pub, was built in approx 1924-27, so it would appear to be after that, but almost certainly pre-war. The clubhouse came much later – about 1960 IIRC. The Cowshed, so far as I know, wasn’t ex-HQ, but Mark may be confused by the fact that the old Sam Robbins ‘Covered End’ at HR was purchased from Twickenham.

  3. First I’ve heard of the Cowshed having London-ish roots Mark. The Sam Robbins ‘Covered End’ (pre West Stand) at HR definitely did come from Twickenham though. Perhaps that’s what you’re thinking of?

  4. Tim – re the OEs first match with Blackheath and the attendance. There certainly was a bumper crowd with queues to get in (unheard of) and an overflow car park inside the main gate. Spectators were 3 or 4 deep behind the posts at one end of the ground. Playing in National 1 OEs have come across a number of famous clubs for the first time but Blackheath was probably at the head of most home fans list of eagerly anticipated fixtures. Despite the proximity there had not even been a pre-season friendly between the two clubs in 106 years. Maybe not so much of a big deal for the visitors but for many of them the journey to College Meadow would have been shorter than going to their new HQ in Eltham. As a spectacle the game was effectively over after 8 minutes with the OEs running in three tries. Seemed to me like the home team players had the greater desire with Dom a very worthy man of the match.

    1. Must have been some spectacle – an fairly intimidating for the opposition given how close the supporters must have been to the touchline! Glad to see OEs are doing so well in their first season in National One…a good platform for even better things to come over the next few seasons perhaps.

      Happy Christmas and here’s to a reunion up at Cov later in the season…

      Tim

  5. Further to the old picture….. lots of informative background from Mark. I recall that the main stand came from Workington Town FC in the 1920’s. An interesting point for me is the lack of mature trees. I reckon the photo was taken not long after the housing was laid out. So it could be in the 20’s well before WWII. One comment jogged my memory. I can clearly recall 90° parking outside the ground, this would be in the late 50’s to early 60’s. Doesn’t the Cowshed look in good condition? Can’t see the toilet though! Judging by the clarity I think it is an ex military photo but I would stand to be corrected. Lovely memories……

  6. Good to see ‘Cov’ players involved in A-matches for the Premiership. Plenty of experience being gained and who knows where their futures, and that of Cov, are heading.
    Re: the picture. It’s a fascinating slice of Coventry history there.
    The railway line is indeed the Coventry to Nuneaton connection, and Coundon Road was the first station but also a very large coal stage – in railwaymen’s parlance there were 17 roads (tracks in the sidings) bringing coal from Coventry Colliery and further afield. There were various coal companies based there, taking coal across Coventry district before the advent of gas central heating.
    At one stage there was a plan to lay a line from Coundon Road sidings, opposite Bablake School, down to the gas works. There was also an early petrol station on the Holyhead Road side of the sidings, opposite Alvis car factory (More later) and a petrol station existed there until relatively recently.
    Before the war, the ground Coundon Road stands on, and that opposite, where the Coundon pub stands, was market garden and field and this was the very edge of Coventry. There were also a couple of brick works on the Coundon Road site in the days of Victorian growth.
    While today, the old Coundon Road stands on Barker Butts Lane, in Victorian times, Coundon Road station was called ‘Counden Road’ initially, but stood at the end of Coundon Lane.Work that one out!
    What is Barker Butts Lane from the crossing past Coundon pub was simply a track. It led to a Butts, like in Spon End, near those shops, for townsfolk to practice archery skills in medieval times.
    Coundon, including the shops, was developed post World War One and the ground in the early 20s. Didn’t the Cowshed come from Twickers?
    Bottom right is indeed what became Carbodies, now London Taxi International, and was a body making company for the early car firms, with Alvis – the car firm, nearby, city side of what everyone knew as the Alvis bridge.
    The expansion into aero engines and armoured vehicles, saw Alvis move onto what is now the Alvis Retail Park and both factories, either side of the railway line, were in full sway when the Blitz happened. Both were major targets.

  7. Jubb, White, Povoas and Priestly all turned out for Sale. It was a heavily one sided affair but Jacob Umaga (who I believe is now DR’d with Cov) had a brilliant MoM performance. Owain James had some great runs and scored a few. 12 tries for Wasps meant that Kwaku and Cameron also managed to nab a try each. A good performance even though the fog meant you couldn’t see what was going on the far side of the pitch.

    1. Thanks Ed – just misread the info! I guess it just didn’t occur to me that it would be Sale and not Wasps. Umaga has indeed registered as a dual reg with Cov, although it’s hard to see how he’ll fit in to the senior squad with Motato, Tuitupou and Grove there…maybe if we can seal promotion with a few games left players like JU will get a chance…
      Hopefully, Cameron will be back in the squad before too long as well…Dacres and Oram will need resting at times and I can’t see Jubby playing too many games between now and the end of the season

      Have a great Christmas and many thanks for contributing to the blog, it is always appreciated.

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