The Championship Cup…an idea for pre-season…blog news

1Nov - by Tim - 0 - In Club talk

Nothing we can say is gonna change anything now
I’ll be leaving in the morning from St. Mary’s Gate
We wouldn’t change this thing even if we could somehow
Cause the darkness of this house has got the best of us
There’s a darkness in this town that’s got us too 

Well say goodbye it’s Independence Day
It’s Independence Day all boys must run away
So say goodbye it’s Independence Day
All men must make their way come Independence Day

Bruce Springsteen – Independence Day

Although there’s still the game against Canada on Monday to look forward, the main focus for the next few weeks is going to be the Championship Cup competition.

There’s plenty of interesting debate going on about how Coventry might play it in terms of selection.

Will the coaches look to blood a few of the younger players alongside some of the more established ones with a view to the future? Or will it be a case of giving those players in the senior squad who haven’t seen much game time as yet a chance to impress using some untried or seldom used combinations?

Or a mixture of the two perhaps?

I went on the Doncaster Knights website just to look at the possibility of purchasing tickets in advance. Most clubs offer an ‘early bird’ discount so it makes sense to buy them in advance where such offers are available.

Unfortunately, they aren’t at Doncaster.

Nor is there any reduction for Cup games which I thought there might be. Perhaps that means that Doncaster will be taking the Cup game seriously, as Rowland Winter has hinted will be the case with Coventry?

Probably that’s just me being a little over-optimistic again.

For me, it all goes back to the Moseley/Wasps pre-season scenarios. I’m fine going up to Doncaster, but even with cheaper transport available through the Supporters’ Club it’s still going to cost £42 a person, including entry into the ground (without concessions).

£42 to watch two first-choice Championship sides battle it out isn’t is a lot, but I’d be prepared to play that, but if it’s to watch two teams that bare little resemblance to the usual match day squads then I will be a little miffed. I’m one of the few supporters who appears to be even remotely excited by the Cup competition, but even my enthusiasm would be tempered somewhat under those circumstances.

As far as the home Cup games are concerned, I don’t think I’ve seen anything to suggest that Cov are going to reduce its prices for cup games either, although I do appreciate the club needs to bring in some much-needed revenue, especially given December and January don’t do the club any favours in terms of home fixtures.

I admit I was shown to be wrong as far as the attendance for the Wasps game was concerned  – I thought £20 on the day might prove too much, but that wasn’t the case at all. However, £20 on a cold and possibly wet November afternoon to watch probably a much changed Yorkshire Carnegie side (consecutive home games against them) might not prove such an attractive draw.

I don’t think the fact that the last game at home was against Yorkshire Carnegie will work to the club’s advantage, especially as it wasn’t the most entertaining of contests, so whether the regular cost of entry to Championship games is attractive enough to pull in non-season ticket holders remains to be seen.

For those who feel it is a competition that devalues the league, maybe they’ll expect a commensurate devaluation in prices…?

The ‘friendly’ against Canada, a game that is more eagerly anticipated than the cup competition or any one of the individual cup games, has been sensibly priced at just £10 on the day. A tenner to watch Cov play a decent second tier international side, a side that has such strong historical links to Cov, is something of a bargain. And it’s even better value at just £8 if the tickets are bought no later than tomorrow.

And it’s Canada’s last game before their World Cup qualifiers, so I imagine most of their top players will be involved at some point, so that makes it even more appealing.

Whatever the outcome, not only is it a coup for the club to get the fixture in the first place, it’s also been priced low enough to hopefully attract a goodly crowd even on a Monday evening.

Great marketing all round!

I decided not to get the tickets for Doncaster in advance. Even without a discount, it probably would have been easier but, unlike Richmond for instance, Doncaster requires you to pick not just your stand of preference (involving 2 two tiers of pricing), but also a specific block within it in the case of the De Mulder Lloyd stand. No grumble from me, other than not being familiar with the ground, I wouldn’t know where to sit.

giphy59
Alone again, naturally

And even it I did, at away games it’s always good to sit with other Cov supporters, not just socially but also to create more of a wall of noise that the players will be aware of from the pitch.

Knowing my luck, I’d end up choosing a block in the main stand well away from other travelling supporters and end up, once again, doing a very good impression of  Billy-no-mates.

Better to wait to get the tickets on the day so that hopefully those making the long journey all end up close together if they so chose.

By the way, the game is a 2.30 pm start for anyone who hasn’t as yet clocked it.

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Sam and I got to the ground even earlier than usual on Saturday – the result of concerns about parking and the excitement of having Sky at the ground. After the usual pre-match ritual of catching up on the previous week and discussing what I should do about the wayward middle daughter ( I do so hope she reads this :)), we began to talk about the game and Cov in general.

The first 20 minutes was spent talking about the game, the team and then any club news or gossip that we might have seen or heard during the week. After that, as is so often the case, it all got a bit surreal. Discussion often turns to a wish list – things we’d like to see happen at Cov. There have been some cracking ideas in the past…

For instance, Sam’s plan’s for the new ground including a revolving pitch which would have grass one side and an artificial surface on the reverse. It would also slide across in a distorted version of Thunderbirds’ Tracey Island, to reveal a full-size swimming pool underneath.

Definitely a winner, that one.

Or, my wish to have a couple of hours practice at taking conversions/penalties and then come off the bench for a three pointer against Jersey in the last game of the season to win us the league.

Or, Sam’s desire to be tackled by Makaafi and Tuitupou to determine who hits harder (I’ve never understood that one)…

However, Sam came up with a particularly good idea for the Family Fun Day in July, the pre-cursor to the pre-season friendlies in August.

Remember when you were at school and you’d line up in PE lessons and the teacher would choose two captains who’d then take alternate picks to determine the two footie teams?

Well, how about the club/team captains selecting from a squad of 44 players lined up in front of the main stand, making sure that each side picks the requisite number of front rowers etc.

There would then follow 2*30 minutes halves with 75% contact (could even be a modified form of tag rugby).

Just the picking of the two sides would be highly entertaining.

Imagine being the last player selected.

It has to be a winner…there’s been a captain’s run of sorts in previous seasons; this just makes it all the more entertaining.

You could actually have all the names in a hat, pulled out by supporters.

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Finally, the blog will definitely come to an end after the Nottingham game, at least in its present, public format.

Those who have followed it in recent months will be aware that I’ve considerably reduced the number of posts published and this is just the natural progression really.

Rightly or wrongly, I was hurt by the way the last MVP poll was used elsewhere and since then I haven’t had the same degree of enthusiasm for the blog as it now is.

To end it just before the start of the 12 days of Christmas seems appropriate.

That said, I will continue it privately. I’d rather have an audience of one or two and say what I really feel, rather than toning things down as much as I do at the moment. If I don’t, then I’ll end up getting myself into hot water.

It will be more of a diary and less of a blog I imagine.  It means I won’t have to be so judicious in what/who I write about. I have to say, I’m looking forward to that.

It probably means that the blog will disappear entirely, although I’m looking at the possibility of making future posts password protected so that the previous 950ish posts will still be visible as a reference for those in the future who might want to read one supporter’s view of the last three and a half seasons.

Anyway, there’s a good few weeks until then…

After Christmas, however, I’ll still post about the Coventry Bears, but probably in a completely separate blog…

Hopefully,  I’ve removed the ‘comments’ feature temporarily, it’s not something that needs commenting on as I made the decision a while back.

Tim.

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December 24th.

Independence Day.