Deacs' Week: Next generation is key to restoring old glories
WITH Stroud and Gordon League playing each other last Saturday in the Gloucester Premier Division, it showed how both clubs have fallen on difficult times playing wise in recent times.
Sometimes it can be difficult to adjust to being in another league but you are where you are because there are no guarantees in the leagues with respect to tradition and history.
It can be a harsh lesson and the stronger clubs take stock build a plan and strive to get it right to stave off dramatically dropping down the leagues, like these two have.
Back in the 1970s they were real giants and today paints a different picture.
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But the main thing is they have to regroup and try and get some stability in place and move on.
Gordon League have struggled over the last several seasons with recruitment to sign enough players.
That said I hope there is a generation of new blood coming through and if you look at Old Cents and where they are and what they are doing, they are going the other way.
It's quite remarkable there are two Gloucester suburb sides in South West One East and with Coney Hill also playing at this level, albeit Coney Hill did struggle at the weekend against a much improved and good Bracknell side.
The one thing Stroud have is a strong mini and junior section and a pathway from the youth section to the seniors.
They have high numbers as do many local clubs who reach from the young age of six - and this is their lifeline.
Financially Stroud have challenges but with a strong coaching setup and off the field management I am sure they get back to their former glories.
DAVIES STOOD UP WELL TO OLD MOTOR MOUTH
I TOOK time out to watch Gloucester's draw against Worcester on Saturday and I thought Nigel Davies handled himself very well in the face of Austin Healey firing questions at him.
They were pretty average questions anyway but the fact is Healey (inset) said all you have to do is run in straight lines from depth and pass the ball backwards.
It's easy for him to say those things and that's probably why he's a pundit and Nigel Davies is a world-class coach.
It's a lot easier to say than do and Nigel Davies handled himself very well.
He was obviously disappointed that he got the draw when he passionately wanted to win.
To be interviewed right after the game, having just come off the pitch, and being asked why and how, I think he did very well in how he replied.
Easier for the pundit than the head coach for sure.
Perhaps Austin might think back to his international rugby days and remember just how hard it is!
After all Healey never had a bad game did he? Just ask him yourself!
SCRIVENS ALWAYS MAKES US FEEL LIKE THE BEES KNEES
ON SATURDAY following an incredible, heart-stopping fightback against Rosslyn Park where Cinderford drew 36-36 (from 24-3 down at half-time), we stopped off at Nigel Scrivens’ pub in Cirencester, the Bee’s Knees.
It was funny because as we arrived, Coney Hill were just coming out.
Suddenly there must have been about 50 Gloucestershire rugby players stood in the street talking about their respective games. Great banter.
It was quite a sight to behold because all the players know each other and we all get on well – even some of the older committee guys!
The likes of Cinderford winger Nev Codlin used to play for Coney Hill and their head coach Chris Hall played for us.
Coney Hill were not particularly happy after defeat but Bracknell seem a good side right now.
No matter what level they are at, they all have the same things to say to each other and there is a lot of camaraderie.
The majority of the Cinderford and Coney Hill guys go back a long way when they played at school or junior levels.
A lot of rugby clubs stop there because Nigel Scrivens is the landlord. He is a good friend of mine and I used to play with him in the amateur days when he was a big second row for Gloucester.
We always go there when we are coming back from London (which seems to be a lot these days!) and Nigel always makes us feel welcome.
ALWAYS NICE TO POP IN ON OLD PUPILS
CHOSEN Hill Former Pupils are a good customer of mine at Raging Bull and the Under 14s have also ordered kit from me.
As part of the package for local clubs, I go and do training sessions with their guys of all ages, as it is something extra I can offer that my competitors in the sportswear industry can’t.
It’s beneficial for the customer and it’s a nice way of offering something back to my local customers who are also very loyal to me.
They are happy with their kit and I will put them through their paces on Sunday morning and further the relationship between Chosen Hill and the Phil Vickery brand!