‘Man of the Match’ results v Bedford…After the game…Lost season tickets

The best things in life are free
But you can tell me ’bout the birds and bees
Now gimme money, that’s what I want
That’s what I want, that’s what I want
That’s what I want, ye-ye-yeah
That’s what I want…

The Flying Lizards – Money

The results of the Man of the Match Poll against Bedford Blues are as follows:

Name                         %
Nile Dacres             41
Jack Ram                 15
Adam Peters           12
Max Trimble            8

In the last poll, for the Cup game against Ealing Trailfinders, both  the Sponsors at the game and those taking part in the blog poll were in agreement with their choice of Man of the Match – Senitiki Nayalo.

This week, however,  there is a clear difference in opinion.

The Sponsors opted for Adam Peters while those casting their vote on this forum, and they did so in numbers, opted for Niles Dacres.

Both players had very strong games, but it was the second rower who got the nod here.

Dacres put in a really impressive shift, stole opposition ball in the lineout, made good metres in attack and defended resolutely.  His run in the first half, some 35m plus, might well have led to a try had he managed to find Pete White who who was steaming up on his left hand side – as the series of three photos below clearly show.

In truth, it wasn’t the slickest of passes but it took play deep into the Bedford half and was a good example of how effective he can be around the park. His athleticism sets him apart from many other second row forwards.

He’s also a very skilful line out jumper and I can well remember him taking our lineout to the cleaners down in Plymouth to win Albion the game, ironically the day after he had agreed a move to the BPA for the following season…

(Once again, photos courtesy  of John Coles – and many thanks to John for allowing me to include his photos in the blog – the quality of his images add so much to the posts. Top man…top photographer).

Dacres 2Dacres 3

Dacres 4
Photos courtesy of John Coles
2019 table
(Source: The Rugby Paper

The Rugby Paper also opted for Peters as its Man of the Match, giving him an impressive 8/10, with Dacres not far behind on 7.

Dacres has only had three games back, against the sides finishing 2nd 3rd and 4th last season, too. So for him to receive  the Supporters’ vote (on this blog only, I hasten to add) is a real achievment.

He didn’t have the benefit of a pre-season to ensure a return to match fitness after a long, long lay off, yet he has played the full 80 minutes in each of those 3 games. That’s some effort and illustrates the trust the coaches  have in him.

So, Niles Dacres it is then – the Man of the Match v Bedford as voted by readers of this blog.

Very many thanks to everyone who took part.

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Gone in 60 seconds – rather like a Formula 1 pitt stop, it was a very slick process !)

Just a couple of things I spotted immediately after the game which might be worthy of a mention for those who didn’t attend.

First, within seconds of the final whistle, Eric and his ground staff has started dismantling the posts ready, I presume, for either football or American football the following day. I’ve seen it before in fairness, but it looked to be a much easier process with the new surface.

And in the driving rain too.

And at the far end of the pitch, Cyrus Azariah was putting the replacements who hadn’t had much game-time through a fairly lengthy set of sprints to make up for the lack of minutes out on the pitch.

So Tom Kessell, having just won the game for Cov with his snipe to the line in the very last play is forced to stay out whilst his team mates presumably celebrate in the changing room.

It’s tough at the top (well in the second tier, anyway).

Cyrus Azariah ensures the replacements who didn’t get much time on the pitch make up for lost time afterwards (My photo, not John’s!!!)

Cov have a professional approach to everything that happens on the pitch and such actions help explain why the fitness levels of the squad generally have improved so much over the past couple of seasons. No stone is left unturned and with the GPS trackers all collected immediately after the game,  the club’s performance analyst will be able to quickly ascertain which players exceeded and which fell short of the levels expected during the 80 mins. Training programmes can then be built round this data and if the coaches notice a dropping off of performances, players can be rested or potential causes identified before they become a real issue.

On the pitch the club is beginning to look and feel like a professional set up – which is exactly what it is these days.

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It won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has ever spent any time with me that I’m a little on the clumsy side, partly the result of not being very organised. I’ll pick up too many things and inadvertently drop something, or leave something behind or fail to look where I’m going and bump into someone.

It’s just who I am.

On more than one occasion I’ve left things on the Supporters’ Club coach to away games and have been indebted to Paul I for holding onto whatever it is I’ve left until the following Saturday.

Sadly, I think Sam has inherited the gene responsible for these behaviours, too. He’s arguably worse than I am

My ability to misplace things, or even lose them, extends to wallets, credit cards, driving licences and ID cards. It’s just a knack I have. Pete White can spin a ball on his finger with consummate ease, Rory Jennings can bend a ball like a banana and still kick the points (as he did on Saturday).

Me, I’m just good at losing things. Often over the short-term. Sometimes, for good..

Like season tickets, for instance. (You can see where this is going now).

I’ve misplaced my Cov ticket on more than one occasion in the past.  Left it in a different coat, or in my wallet which remains on the kitchen table where I’d left it, or dropped in the footwell of the car. All a long time ago mind, but the likelihood of me doing it again sometime soon  is always there. 

Fortunately, not having my season ticket with me was never really an issue before this season. The very nice man on the gate, whose name I can’t recall but who always passes the time of day when I arrive early at ridiculous o’clock, would send me to the office where the lovely Jo would write me a note and arrange for a replacement and in I’d go.

But all that has changed this season.

And the new system isn’t good news for those of us liable to moments for forgetfulness and I’m surprised no one has mentioned it.

Up to now, anyway.

Now I’m not good at reading covering letters, instructions or the sort of small print you should always pay attention to.

The devil, they say, is in the detail.

Anyone reading this post who is a season ticket holder will have picked up their season ticket in an envelope which included a letter headed SEASON TICKETS 2019/20.

I’m ashamed to say that I never bothered to read the letter when I collected my ticket but Sam, who only received his at the weekend, is rather more prudent.

The preamble is as you’d expect and generously states:

Coventry Rugby would not be the place it is without your support, week in, week out and we thank you for your continued backing of the team and the club as a whole.

Sentiments that are greatly appreciated and exactly the kind of thing you’d like to read on a letter containing your season ticket.

But what gives with one hand will often take with the other…

Now I’ve always regarded Cov as being very supporter-friendly. As the quote above confirms, a club grateful to its supporters. A club that goes out of it’s way to help where it can.

Jo, in the Office  personifies this willingness to go the extra mile where possible.

Loyalty and respect on both sides.

So why, then does the letter go on to say:

You must bring your Season Card with you to every game. If you forget it then you will be charged £5 to reprint your ticket for that day’s game. If you lose or damage your card so that it cannot be used, then there will be a £10 administration charge to print a new one.

Maybe that has always been the case and I just haven’t been aware of it; people have been kind and turned a blind eye.

Maybe they still will and if I went to Jo she would waive the charge, but unless it is waived for everyone it would be divisive. And given something needs to be scanned now in order to enter the ground, then that would be difficult.

If you’ve forgotten your card, it should be possible, surely, just to show some ID and the person at the gate scan a generic barcode that (s)he keeps on her/him. No need to send anyone to the office, no need to charge £5 for what is a very simple 30 second process. If the card is lost, it’s the same process but just a different code and a ‘phone number to ring for a replacement and a nominal fee if necessary – which it shouldn’t be, especially if the cards are printed in-house which I imagine they are. A printout of the  season ticket holders (which has always been used in the past, would enable a quick cross-check.

An extra £5 to get in if you’ve forgotten your card is an absolute rip off when you’ve already paid in advance.  Hardly the act of a support-friendly club, in my opinion. I can almost guarantee at least once this season either Sam or I, or both of us, won’t have our cards on us.

And whilst I’d be delighted in a way if someone said ‘we know you, in you go’, I’d be sorely vexed if we were having to pay and others weren’t. And if everyone is allowed in in at no cost, why then authoritarian tone to the letter in the first place?

I do worry a little about the club losing sight of its grass roots support in its efforts to becomes as professional off the pitch as it is on it. I’m sure Cov would argue that that just isn’t the case, and hopefully it’s not, but when ordinary grass roots supporters are told what we must and mustn’t do and the financial consequences of not abiding by the rules, well it’s fair just to ask the question. It’s only a piece of plastic to identify who you are – just use a different means of identification in such circumstances. 

I’ve no real objection to a booking fee, but when you clearly own a season ticket but have  just forgotten to bring it on the day, then surely common sense should prevail?

I’d be really interested to hear from anyone during the course of this season who has been in the unfortunate position of forgetting to bring their Season Ticket with them…

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Money don’t get everything, it’s true
What it don’t get, I can’t use
So gimme money, that’s what I want
A little money that’s what I want

The Flying Lizards were one hit wonders as far as I can recall.

I’m not sure how you’d describe them. Post-punk, alternative, new wave-ish, I guess.

I know nothing about them other than they did a strangely catchy version of ‘Money’ which got into the charts just at the time I was starting university so it must have been the very late 70’s or even 1980.

I’d forgotten the TofP appearance – well worth a watch!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Tim

9 thoughts on “‘Man of the Match’ results v Bedford…After the game…Lost season tickets

  1. Hi Tim. A Cov Nostalgia board where memories and photos of seasons gone by sounds a great idea. I could start the ball rolling with a picture of me standing on the old scoreboard balcony wearing my high waistband patchpocket trousers, boat shoes and 3 star jumper – or maybe not…

  2. Always good to have an alternative view, especially one as well reasoned as yours, Alan… such a deterrent is an effective way of getting supporters to take a little more responsibility although just accepting that folk do occasionally forget things and therefore having a quick and easy alternative available that doesn’t antagonise anyone is still the preferred option for me. The club relies on the good will of its supporters, something that can easily be lost if they think they are being used.

  3. Hi Rob…I wish there was a site where supporters could just add their memories/recollections of all things Cov. I’m sure it would be popular and make for a really interesting read. Mine would be visiting the sweet shop prior to the game and not being able to open the bag until the ref blew his whistle to start the game. Or being allowed to choose the numbers for the Tote (I miss that). Or getting a splinter when I sat on the benches in the old main stand and trying to be brave and not cry in the midst of so many adults…

    Lovely story…thank you! I always felt so important having my own Junior VP ticket! Always exciting when you first got it at the start of the season – guessing the colour, too.

    Yes…perhaps there should be some sort of penalty involved. We always used to get kids to stand up in assembly if they weren’t in school uniform – would be amusing toname and shame just before kick off!

  4. H Rob, hope all is well – yes definitely agree with your reasoning although I can see that perhaps the £5 charge could be a deterrent. Perhaps changing the wording to ‘maybe charged’ instead of ‘will be charged’ might help there.

  5. Good point Kevin. I can understand the club wanting to avoid possible fraud, however anyone wanting to go to the lengths you’ve mentioned is still going to get two people into the ground for the cost of an extra fiver – a significant reduction on the entry price.

    The fact is the ploy could only really be used once and even then the club would, presumably, investigate a situation whereby a season ticket had been used on the same day that a member purported to lose it?

    I can’t imagine many, if any, season ticket holders would go to that much trouble to get someone else in for free?

    All food for thought…

  6. Hi Tim

    I’m a day late responding to this blog but had similar thoughts to you regarding the mislaid/lost season ticket charges. It a feels a bit harsh on what are likely to be some of the most loyal supporters.

    I think we both have to accept though that times are changing and, with continued success and development, the club will become further removed from the ‘grass roots’ feel we have been used to.

    I have to confess I’m fastidious about remembering my card – maybe down to my dad always asking ‘have you got your ticklet (spelled correctly)’ before we set off for Coundon Road. I think of that every time I set off for BPA so, thus far, I’ve always remembered it.

    My only experience of losing my card was when my mum washed my trousers with my Junior Vice President ticket in which, being paper, was reduced to a pulpy mess. The club, however, were quick to issue a replacement without the hint of further payment.

    Playing Devil’s advocate I guess there must be a charge to the club for re-printing fees – the card is personalised – so that should rightly be passed on to the member who has lost his card – that surely doesn’t amount to £10 worth of admin charges though.

    Keep the faith… Rob

  7. I get your point about admin charges Tim for lost or forgotten season tickets….but it does promote some responsibility.

    Otherwise before long you will have people doing it every week. Oh I get Jo to print a new one. Or the guy on the gate can sort it.

    The club are trying to reduce queues and speed up the process of getting in the ground. Forgotten, lost, mislaid tickets add to this problem and creates extra work on matchday of staff who are already busy.

    So although I have some sympathy with your problems in the past I also understand the the clubs stance. Also in previous years Jo produced the season ticket cards. This year it has been outsourced, hence the replacement fee I suspect.

    It is why my wifes season ticket stays with mine with me; otherwise leaving the house would be delayed while she hunted for it, it would be left in the car, or just which pocket is it in on arrival at the ground. Umbrellas, hats and gloves are ofted left behind. You rsrely see her with a handbag as she knows she will just misplace it.

  8. Hi Kevin – hope you’re having a choc Hobnob with the cuppa! Yep, all valid reasons in favour of the charge, no argument there from me other than I think there’s an alternative way..
    Yes, make it a little more awkward to get in – send the culprit down to the ticket booth to get a temporary ticket and then queue to get in with the non-season ticket folk. That will make me think twice in future about securing my card.
    But to add 42% to the cost of your entry ticket on the day for what is a genuine mistake is a bit harsh. Not even banks charge and the consequences of a lost credit card are far greater. Nor does my gym (and yes I do go :))…wasted arguments really because it’s a done deal but I still think it’s a shame for a club that works under the banner of ‘Your City Your Club’. It’s not that supporter friendly at times…

  9. Hi Tim. I love reading your blogs with my morning cuppa, always have always will, keep them coming. A comment on the season ticket issue or rather forgetting it on the day. What if you dropped it outside the ground and someone used it to get in, or God forbid someone passed it to a mate who gets in and then they tried to get in saying ‘I’ve lost it’ for free? Unfortunately this is a real world and these things happen, so the club has to take appropriate steps to deter fraud. And perhaps to encourage one not to lose their tickets. I suggest if you paid a fiver if you forgot your ticket one week you’d be more likely to remember it the next. After the match the club could check the scanning records to see if the lost ticket had been used………. anyway an alternative view for your consideration. Best regards……

Any thoughts:

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