Friday, June 17, 2005


I must sorrowfully confess that I have been debating whether or not to purchase a season ticket for the rugby this season and considering that I have loyally bought one for the past 17 or 18 years (including a half price student one in 1989 that cost me the princely sum of £22.50) my reticence and disillusionment is not to be sneezed at. Last season certainly took its toll. I can cope with poor play – just! – as I’ve encountered enough of it at Kingsholm in the gruesome early 1990s but I saw too many players over the past few months not trying hard enough. Tom Walkinshaw’s comments before the last home match along the lines of ‘Have a good look at that stand behind me because it’s the last time you’ll ever be seeing it’ surely rival, ‘Go back to your constituencies and PREPARE FOR GOVERNMENT!’ for unfortunate timing and rotten prescience. It all got a bit too much for me. D’you know what I mean?

Today’s news that Dean Ryan has been named head coach with the intelligent Brian Redpath as assistant and Duncan McRae as skills coach has cheered me and I can confirm – hold the front page! – that I’ll be getting a season ticket now. I’m relieved it has been sorted and I’m ready to trust Ryan and Redpath for now and hope the youthful coaching staff’s ambition and ebullience will right the ship. Somehow names like Kirwan and Williams didn’t seem Glaws enough for me. I sense a bit more credibility and, dare I say it, intellect and quiet sensitivity with the new team.

We do need new players still. Rob Thirlby signed today and, with the embarrassing Seti Kiole leaving at the same time, we have swapped a joke for a class performer with plenty to prove and time on his side to do so. Rumours that the Bob Casey deal may be back on encourage this supporter and I emphatically hope we can attract a top full back that Oliver Morgan can play second fiddle to and develop his remarkable skills. Another winger would be fine too as well another prop to complement Vickery and Collazo. But for now, I’m glad we are back on track.