You really got me goin’…

…You really got me goin’
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’ now
Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I can’t sleep at night

Yeah, you really got me now
You got me so I don’t know what I’m doin’ now

The Kinks – You Really Got Me

What a shame last season had to end when it did.

Two away wins in those final two games, confidence sky high and the team appearing  to play to its true potential after what had been a real stop/start sort of season.

If there’s any truth in the old sporting cliché that you’re only as good as your last game, then Cov Rugby Club looked every inch a top 4 Championship side. In attack we were quick and clinical, in defence ruthless and determined.

Many of the travelling supporters over in Jersey, though elated by the performance against Jersey, were also left rueing some of the disappointing displays they’d witnessed earlier against teams that represented far less of a threat than that posed by the Channel Islanders.

Still, if your performances are measured purely by your most recent performances on the pitch, then there is clearly problem. And at times it was fairly obvious during our first season in the Championship that Cov were struggling against the pace and physicality of some of the stronger Championship sides. It wasn’t so much about a lack of skill, more about a lack of strength and fitness.

In an article in today’s Coventry Online (CoventryLive Article – 8th August 2019), Rowland Winter indeed highlighted one of last season’s concerns as a lack of fitness, something which:

prevented us from playing the style of rugby that we wanted to play and helped us win National One a few years ago

That’s one of the areas that definitely looks to have been addressed, with Cov already into their 10th week of pre-season. With what sounds like a completely full-time schedule and with several of the new draft of players coming from the Premiership, it looks as if expectations amongst the players and management have been raised well beyond the 8th placed finish last season.

Whites(A few years ago, though? I’m hoping it’s a misquote; otherwise RW needs to take a break! Glad he’s human after all).

The article makes for an interesting read, with Bobby Bridge ramping up the levels of excitement among supporters yet further with the headline ‘How Coventry Rugby Club aim to take Greene King IPA Championship by storm in second season‘ and a plethora of positives thrown in all the way through for good measure – ‘the Coventry Rugby revolution continues‘, ‘ambition is in the air‘, ‘a whole of promising signings‘ and so on.

As marketing goes, it doesn’t get much better than that and any local rugby supporters considering a visit to the BPA this season might well be a little more swayed having read it.

It’s just the sort of publicity Cov need at this stage of the season.

And free at that.

Hopefully, Cov are becoming an increasingly marketable product for the local media. Luke Wallace and Ryan Burrows are big name players, fresh from the Premiership  and whilst Wasps are always going to be top dog given the national interest they create, as well as  attracting gates of 17000 plus compared to Coventry’s 2000, momentum is gathering down at CV1.

The revolution continues to roll‘ as Bobby Bridge rather aptly terms it.

henrypurdy
Maybe we’ll be seeing something similar when the Championship eventually kicks off for Cov in October

Henry Purdy’s is again mentioned as having signed for Coventry in the same article. For me this puts it beyond mere speculation. Bridge has obviously interviewed RW, so for him to include Purdy by name as one of the six Premiership players recruited by Coventry for this season  suggests to me it is a done deal.

Surely BB would have asked explicitly if Purdy was on his way? It would have been right up there at the top of my list of questions anyway, along with asking about the possibility of a return of the infamous pink away shirt and whether they’ll be any increase in fast food outlets around the ground this season.

giphy4If Cov haven’t signed Purdy, then it would be very odd for the Club to remain silent on the subject and allow supporters to continue to believe this is the case when the article clearly says the opposite, with much of it quoting Winter verbatim, although not about Purdy to be fair.

Whether he actually arrives after his spell in New Zealand (?) I guess is a different story. Premiership clubs might well be looking at the situation and, as has been suggested elsewhere,  it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that they could come a-looking on his return to the UK.  We lost Stan South to Harlequins despite contracts having been signed.

What a great coup for the club it would (will!) be though.

With a stronger squad, an emphasis on greater levels of fitness and a return to our attacking ways, this is a season that promises much. Whether it can deliver is another matter, but as of now there is definitely a feeling of excitement amongst supporters beyond what I might have expected – especially as we are still in what is realistically a period of consolidation in terms our time in the Championship.

It feels like we’ve skipped a season in some respects, such is the pre-season build up. It shouldn’t and we haven’t but that’s how it feels right now.

Of course other clubs will have also strengthened on and off the pitch, but it’s hard not to be optimistic when  Winter and his team of coaches and support staff have already proved that they have the X factor over other sides they’re competing against. When the pressure’s been on, as it was in those final two away games last season, the team has more often than not delivered.

We are still only part way through the long-term strategy that was drawn up as soon as RW arrived, one that has been meticulous in its planning – for which Jon Sharp and the Board should also be given great credit.

The current situation at Yorkshire Carnegie shows just how fortunate we are to have set of directors and a Chairman who have had the foresight to plan and build on solid foundations rather than throw good money after bad. We’ve been there, done that and it very nearly ruined us.

It’s such an exciting period in the club’s history. It’s by no means a make or break season, but it is one that potentially could move us closer to the top 3 or 4 sides in the league which is where we need to be if we are serious about building a launchpad for the Premiership.

Just writing that gives me goose-bumps.

Exciting times.

Cov…you really got me goin’; you got me so I can’t sleep at night…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Tim

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