Gone in 30 seconds…Moseley v Cov (at £15 no longer the dream ticket)

Well, I was scumbag bound for a couple a days
Talked to a friend of mine
He said, I’ve got to do the thing I do best before I lose my mind
I said man I ain’t no guru
Who am I to say what’s right or wrong?

But it might help to shed a little light on the matter if we sing this song
Happy doing what we’re doing
Happy doing it right
Keep on doing what we’re doing
So long as the feeling is right
Brinsley Schwartz – Happy Doing What We’re Doing

 

Gone in 30 seconds…

In a little under a month the BPA has moved from a grass to a synthetic playing surface.

It’s all been fairly low key really with relatively few updates coming out of the club other than the occasional photo here and there on Twitter  and, strangely, no mention of it at all at the unveiling of the new club kit a couple of weeks ago.

I’m surprised the club hasn’t made more of it at a time when they’re looking to attract more season ticket purchases in the build up to the season proper in September. It’s a massive statement from the club and an impressive one, surely, if you’re contemplating buying a season ticket at this stage of pre-season?

In fairness, interest among supporters has been high ever since the go-ahead was officially announced (which bizarrely was after the work on the pitch had actually started). Photos have been available from the moment the diggers moved in and it has been fascinating to see the process evolve.

I’m indebted once again to Dave Duffy for forwarding me regular photos and for his help in putting together the above video which is made from  many of the photos he’s kindly forwarded to me over the last four weeks.

Whilst the photos are intermittent, stitched together like this they do offer a reminder of what it took to get to where we currently are.

Well worth a look if you’ve just skipped down to the text!

1And thanks, too, to @ALANjo60 for forwarding me a close-up of the new surface.

Whilst the many tons of sand and rubber crumb to hold the surface in place has yet to be added, you can clearly see what the surface will look like and the depth of the individual ‘blades’ of the artificial grass.

Presumably, there’s a little give in the surface underneath?

Even from close up it looks like the real thing – hopefully it will play like it too.

Lovely as it looks, there’s something about a mud-streaked BPA in the depths of a wet and windy Winter’s day that I will forever miss, although that might be lessened slightly if Cov can reproduce the kind of rugby that we saw Ealing produce on a similar surface down at their ground last season.

Cov have made it clear that they are looking to be more direct, more expansive this season and as a spectator that is probably the most exciting thing about the new installation. Understandably, for the club, the revenue streams it brings in will be arguably top of the list of positives but personally I can’t wait to see if we can play with greater pace and width this season.

If we can, there will be one or two teams who will struggle when they come to the BPA.

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Following a couple of days of birthday celebrations, including a surprise trip to North Wales over the weekend, I missed the trip to Dublin last Saturday. A shame too in many ways as last year’s sojourn there was extremely enjoyable, although  the rugby was probably the least entertaining aspect of the trip.

It seems Leinster had strengthened their side somewhat this time around and Cov obviously found it tough going for much of the game. A far better test for us though…

The visit to Moseley tomorrow is therefore my first chance to see Coventry this season, other than watch a few of the youngsters perform at Olney in July (many of whom I didn’t recognise anyway!).

Following Coventry’s demolition of Moseley in the pre-season friendly 12 months ago, Cov appear to have relegated this year’s fixture to no more than a Development/Nighthawks game, with the main squad presumably involved in what would appear to be a tougher fixture down a Blackheath 24 hours later.

This is written in advance of the publication of the two squads, but even though Moseley have recruited well over the pre-season, it would be hard to see anything other than a repeat of last season’s 62-14 result were Cov to put out anything like their best side.

Maybe the squad has been split over the two games, with both the Friday and Saturday games involving a mix of first team and development players. Either way, sadly Moseley no longer present the kind of challenge they once did and it’s hard to see the gap between the two clubs closing in the foreseeable future.

There will be a good few familiar faces on display at Billesley tomorrow, with Joe Foreman, Cliff Hodgson, Jacques le Roux, Ben Palmer, Nathaniel Titchard-Jones, Danny Wright and Louis Roach all plying their trade with Moseley this season, together with Peter Glackin and Rob Norman as part of the management set up there. And not forgetting Lara Hunter either.

Interestingly, Sam Hollingsworth, who was a member of Coventry’s Academy a couple of years ago and who looked extremely promising when he played against us in our last season in National One, has moved to Rotherham this season.

Good as those players mentioned above are, when you compare them with Coventry’s latest recruits, the likes of Rory Jennings, Ryan Burrows, Senitiki Nayalo, Andy Forsyth, Luke Wallace and hopefully Henry Purdy, you get a real sense of just how far Cov have come since Winter arrived at the BPA.

It would hardly be a fair contest – on paper anyway.

And fair play to Moseley for taking the opportunity to maximise the financial opportunities that come with hosting one of the top Championship sides pre-season (I know…but it feels so good to rub it in a little. Not a great characteristic of mine, I appreciate). Quite rightly, they’ve decided to charge top dollar and price entrance at £15, even though there is no way that the Cov side will resemble anything like the starting XV even for the forthcoming Cup games.

And who can blame them? Coventry did exactly the same last year despite plenty of mutterings from the Cov faithful. As a result the game attracted what many felt was a somewhat disappointing crowd of just 1204 – how much larger would it have been for a fiver less?

What was clear on the night was that there were relatively few Moseley supporters for such a big local derby and I wonder if  Cov’s travelling support might well also be reduced, especially as it’s another £5 on top to sit in the covered stand. Even the Moseley faithful might baulk at £15 knowing that there’s every chance that what could be a second string Coventry side might well prove too strong.

Whilst I understand Coventry’s reasons for pricing the pre-season friendlies so high last season, I can’t help that indirectly it will result in fewer supporters travelling down the A45. Tit-for-tat, so to speak.

£15 is a lot to watch what might be a second string Cov side in a relatively low key game, even if there is a cup of sorts at stake. I don’t begrudge Moseley the money at all, they must need every penny, but sometimes it does seem as if clubs (and I include Cov here) don’t necessarily see the bigger picture, although I’m sure I’m oversimplifying it. And it’s the supporters who miss out in the end.

I hope it’s a large crowd. The atmosphere generated by a Cov/Mose contest is always special and there’s nothing better for the players, particularly if there are a number of development/academy players on show, than to play in front of a large crowd.

However for me, £7 to get in would probably have earned the club as much extra in food and beverages and a bigger crowd than the £15 both clubs have opted for over the past couple of seasons. Cov supporters are going to come in numbers for sure, but maybe not as many as Moseley are anticipating.

I hope I’m wrong.

Perhaps the fact that I’ve chosen to go despite the cost suggests it’s not as big an issue as I’m making out, but it does seem a lot to be paying for a pre-season game of this type, especially as there will also be some Cov supporters also making the longer journey down to Blackheath the next day. Sadly there’s no Supporters’ Coach for that one so it’s going to be a fairly expensive Saturday jaunt for those going by public transport.

I’m very fortunate that I can  afford to go to both, but not everyone is quite so lucky. I guess the counter argument is that at least this way if you’re a Cov supporter you do get the opportunity to watch a Cov side play at least once this weekend.

Moseley v Coventry – at £15 for a pre-season, Development Squad (Plus) game,  it’s hardly the dream ticket any more.

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

It was through Brinsley Schwartz that I first became aware of Nick Lowe and from Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello. Brinsley Schwartz were a pub rock band (with a bit of country thrown in) in the late 70s I guess and along with Schwartz and Lowe, they included Bob Andrews in their line up. Both Andrews later formed the Rumour, the backing group to Graham Parker – another favourite of mine. They also backed Lowe and Dave Edmunds for a while.

Happy Doing What We’re Doing is from the fantastic ‘The 15 Thoughts of Brinsley Schwartz’ album (which includes the original and definitive version of (‘What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding’) and kind of sums up my involvement in the blog really – occasionally a scumbag, certainly no guru and always happiest when Cov are doing it right…

Which in fairness is most of the time.

Well, I was scumbag bound for a couple a days
Talked to a friend of mine
He said, I’ve got to do the thing I do best before I lose my mind
I said man I ain’t no guru
Who am I to say what’s right or wrong?

Keep on doing what we’re doing
So long as the feeling is right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Tim

4 thoughts on “Gone in 30 seconds…Moseley v Cov (at £15 no longer the dream ticket)

  1. Yes..will be interested to see how the bench perform. I think our fitness levels should be good enough to cause even an experienced Mose side problems? Hope we play with some width…Povey Trimble and Lewis good cause problems with White releasing the ball quickly?

  2. Hi Rhys..good to hear from you again. Gutted Cliffie won’t be playing. Hope his injury isnt serious, he’s suffered a fair few in recent years. Should be an interesting game! Hope all is well…

  3. Looks like a good mix of experience and youth for tonight’s fixture Tim. I sense a home upset but hope to be proved wrong.
    Despite the price I couldn’t miss a trip to visit the old enemy so will no doubt see you later…

  4. HI Tim – great to have you back as a regular read!! On the Moseley fixture, I’m told Cliffie H won’t be playing – carrying an injury, I believe, which is a shame.

Any thoughts:

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