Deacs' Week: Happy to present a United front with Gloucester
Cinderford director of rugby Andy Deacon's weekly column:
GLOUCESTER'S new academy manager Andrew Stanley rang me on Monday to ask if Cinderford had any guys who could play in their A League fixture against Sale because a few players had pulled out.
In a partnership where we take loan players from Gloucester at Cinderford – such as prop Tom Heard – we were only happy to reciprocate with Kai Done, Nick Selway and Stef Hawley acquitting themselves very well.
It helps ensure that local lads play for Gloucester and this is what Nigel Davies firmly believes in.
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Kai started on the wing and Stef came off the bench to also go on the wing.
Nick, meanwhile, also played in Cinderford United's win over Old Patesians on Saturday, and came on for the last 20 minutes on Monday.
It was good for him and he is young enough to do that. He enjoyed the experience of being on the pitch and pulling on a cherry and white shirt.
Working with Gloucester in this way is the way forward and as a club Cinderford are very proud to enjoy this good relationship.
It also goes to show the benefit of having a 'United' side where if players don't feature on a Saturday they can still get game time two days later.
And to be able to add in a few guys from other local clubs just strengthens the affiliation between Gloucester and the community.
And there are a lot of clubs in the region so long may this continue.
I know that Nigel Davies is fully behind supporting their community values where everyone plays a part and gets involved.
He is a very humble, down to earth man and Gloucester will do very well under him, and I hope they do.
Not all players enjoy the same route into professional rugby through an academy.
So representing the United side gives opportunities to both young and even older players.
Guys who may have missed the boat originally, or who come into form or play well for a good side could get such chances.
Players strive to play at the highest level and relish the opportunity to represent or be involved with Gloucester.
RUGBY'S ABILITY TO UNITE
I WAS unable to play for the Cherry Pickers at Painswick on Saturday to commemorate their 140th anniversary because I was with Cinderford.
The guys had a good afternoon’s rugby and celebrations and this is what our sport is all about, and how it brings people together.
It is a very historical thing to do in Gloucestershire whether to celebrate an anniversary or remember someone’s life as Matson did on Sunday with the Dominic Cullen memorial day.
Certainly the world of rugby does this very well and especially when it’s for a good cause.
At the Painswick fixture quite a few Gloucester old boys were running around and fans love to go and see games like this.
There is also the ongoing argument about who had the cherry and white colours first which just adds a bit more conversation and banter!
At Matson RFC it was obviously a very different occasion and of course more sombre but still a celebration of Dom’s young life and the good things he did in rugby before his sad and untimely death.
Often the rugby club is the hub of the community, and its more than just playing sport.
Locals and fans congregate there for the sport and the social life that it brings.
At Cinderford there are many different activities happening throughout the week whether its line dancing, aerobics or skittles.
In hard times it gives a revenue stream to the club as well as using the excellent facilities that are dormant in between the rugby.
Gone are the times when you just open up a rugby club on a Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
All clubs who have the ability, facilities and foresight to do this are succeeding.
CORPORATION GAME IS VITAL
AT CINDERFORD nearly 100 people sat down for a corporate dinner before our enthralling win over Coventry on Saturday, and with entertainment afterwards formed one of our biggest crowds (470) for a while.
Still relatively new in our industry, but like many other clubs in our league, Cinderford has embraced and evolved its hospitality facilities allowing corporate guests and individuals to enjoy food and entertainment around a game of rugby – all making for a great day out.
In the close season we made improvements to the kitchens and our function rooms to ring the changes and provide a new, improved dining package.
With Carole Smith our full time, hard working commercial manager and a dedicated PR team, it is all about building awareness, increasing our profile and attracting even more people to watch a good brand of rugby that proudly put us at the top of the National League One table at this early stage in the season.
It all helps to fund our rugby and the club operations which is critical and reliant on a solid supporter base and sponsorships.
We need the fans that come to watch and buy a pint and a programme as well as the corporate guests that bring their customers and guests to be entertained.
And this season we have made great progress in this area.
We see this across all the teams in the national leagues and now even in the lower leagues too.
At Cinderford, Saturday put a marker in the sand for our match day off-field activities that complemented our success on the pitch.
Thanks to all behind the scenes that made it happen.