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To AGP or Not to AGP...


By AdminBTCov
June 5 2019

THE cat, it seems, is finally out of the plastic bag. All the speculation regarding the will-it, won't-it be an AGP, has finally been laid to rest.

Well, maybe...

Overnight, Coventry Bears supremo Al (Boomer) Robinson has been on the Bears' website, and social media, confirming that the Bears are back 'on the road' due to the imminent installation of said artificial grass pitch at the BPA.

It appears that (unspecified) delays to the commencement of works have left the Rugby League club with no alternative but to negotiate a rental tenure at Rugby Lions' Webb Ellis Road ground until the end of the season.

The Bears had hoped to be back at the BPA and using the new carpet after their exile at Broadstreet RFC came to an end, but due to the delay, this is not now possible, forcing 'Boomer' to look elsewhere.

One gets the sense (purely from Al's submissions) that he may be bristling very slightly over the whole thing, but knowing him, he will just get on with it and ensure that his club doesn't suffer in any way, and will ultimately return to their BPA home to continue with their marvellous upward trajectory since Boomer formed the club from nothing twenty years ago.

Now, the slightly odd thing about it is that the Coventry RFC club, owners and main tenants of the BPA have not (at the time of writing this) yet made any form of statement regarding the pitch.

People have been speculating for quite some time whether it will be ripped out completely and a whole new artificial 'system' installed, or whether the grass pitch will be re-seeded (maybe with a little drainage work thrown in) and fingers crossed for another season – perhaps hoping for another dry winter following a slightly less dry (than last year) summer.

My own feelings are mixed.

I prefer to see rugby (any kind of football) played on a spanking, firm-yet-moist-yet-resilient, grassy sward, where players are cushioned from ground-impact injuries in the way they expect to be, and minor irregularities form which affect the run of the (rugby) ball in an interesting, slightly unpredictable way.

On the other hand, that grass pitch needs to be as smooth and divot-free as possible for those that would play the round ball game on it, and with a ten-year tenancy just signed for Coventry United's senior sides to play at the BPA (one of them at Championship level) This presents a dilemma.

AGP or grass?

I may have a preference, but my preference and that of every other supporter of the clubs playing at the Arena are, realistically, insignificant.

Usage. Utility. Return. These are words associated with the adoption of modern 'carpets' at sporting facilities.

For Cov to survive and thrive at this and, conceivably, a higher level of rugby, it has to make the best possible use of its assets. Income is God. Without cash poured in by someone with limitlessly deep pockets, Cov will not thrive as a club without some fairly radical changes going forward.

We've all seen the schematics for the stadium's above ground developments – all of which are designed to enhance matchday, and fifty-two-week, income streams.

However, these are the cream on top. The first stage must be getting the playing surface right, and this means (like it or not) an Artificial Grass Pitch of the ultimate quality is absolutely the essential springboard, and I for one am absolutely for it, even given my earlier mention of preference.

Yes, there are horror stories abounding every time AGPs are mentioned. Nasty leg abrasions, over-stretched ankle tendons, difficulties with changing footing while under huge front-row pressures. All that and more. I'm no medical expert, and I haven't played on a 'plastic' pitch (haven't played on a grass one for over forty years!), but this club has seen a massive transformation in attitudes, knowledge, and clear-thinking over the last three years or so, and I'm willing to bet that a massive amount of research has gone into this decision.

New coaches, new medical staff, new conditioning staff, new players. All have been recruited in the run-up to this decision. All will have their thoughts on AGPs. All are on board, it seems.

I'll trust them.

The future is bright. The future is Blue 'n' White (and a little bit of Red and Green).

 

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Unofficial Coventry Rugby
To AGP or Not to AGP...
Unofficial Coventry Rugby (IP Logged)
05/06/2019 09:56
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Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 2019:06:18:12:17:26 by AdminBTCov.

 
HoboAl
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
HoboAl (IP Logged)
05/06/2019 19:17
Unfortunately with the small amount of land. Coventry Rugby have AGP is the only way to go. The Bears appear to wish to return. Short notice is not down to Coventry Rugby it will be down to funding applications; Bears and United should have been prepared for the possibilities.

 
timdouglas1
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
timdouglas1 (IP Logged)
06/06/2019 06:21
I asked Nick a few weeks ago at the meeting would the pitch be hybrid, just like most Premiership football grounds, or would it be artificial, and he pointed out it would be the latter. I guess the hybrid pitch must be an astronomically high cost

 
PaulRossborough
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
PaulRossborough (IP Logged)
06/06/2019 07:38
Quote:
timdouglas1
I asked Nick a few weeks ago at the meeting would the pitch be hybrid, just like most Premiership football grounds, or would it be artificial, and he pointed out it would be the latter. I guess the hybrid pitch must be an astronomically high cost

Nick's response was indeed the latter but didnt suggest cost was the reason as the pitch we are having (if ever confirmed by the club) is one if the best around and therefore comes with such a price tag. If I recall correctly he actually cited the lack of water as a factor in the decision making process. Hybrids require regular watering, artificial requires none.

All views expressed in this post, are my own

 
Rob C
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
Rob C (IP Logged)
06/06/2019 08:12
The hybrid pitch at the Ricoh appears to be barely coping with two teams playing on it. With the amount of usage planned for BPA a hybrid would be inadequate.

 
erick richardson
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
erick richardson (IP Logged)
06/06/2019 08:24
???????????????? - It will soon be "Christmas"

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
AdminBTCov (IP Logged)
06/06/2019 09:00
Quote:
Rob C
The hybrid pitch at the Ricoh appears to be barely coping with two teams playing on it. With the amount of usage planned for BPA a hybrid would be inadequate.
I think 'barely coping' is a slight exaggeration Rob. It's awful.

 
Rob C
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
Rob C (IP Logged)
06/06/2019 10:10
Quote:
AdminBTCov
Quote:
Rob C
The hybrid pitch at the Ricoh appears to be barely coping with two teams playing on it. With the amount of usage planned for BPA a hybrid would be inadequate.
I think 'barely coping' is a slight exaggeration Rob. It's awful.

Thankfully I've only been up once this season...winking smiley

 
covkid53
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
covkid53 (IP Logged)
07/06/2019 09:29
Let's be clear, Cov rugby, Cov Bears, Cov Utd, Cov Utd ladies. Sometimes others, all playing on a grass surface ?

Nah, it ain't happening. Has to be an artificial surface, but even they wear under constant hard use. 2 seasons and it could be toast, very expensive to repair or replace.

Careful choices need to be made.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
AdminBTCov (IP Logged)
07/06/2019 09:36
Choice has already been made, so everyone now just has to get on with it.
For better or worse, etc.

I, for one, am looking forward to seeing our new playing surface.

 
erick richardson
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
erick richardson (IP Logged)
07/06/2019 13:14
So much speculation ??? all in good time Ladies & Gents

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
AdminBTCov (IP Logged)
07/06/2019 13:18
Is your question mark key sticking again Eric?

 
erick richardson
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
erick richardson (IP Logged)
10/06/2019 08:13
Yep.... So many questions,

 
Rob C
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
Rob C (IP Logged)
10/06/2019 08:18
Certainly more questions than answers...

 
Jean H
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
Jean H (IP Logged)
10/06/2019 11:42
Does anyone know(besides the powers that be)if any work has started on the Butts pitch yet? if so when is there going to be an official announcement for the loyal fans,we shouldn't have to hear important news like this from the Rugby league manager.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
OldNick (IP Logged)
10/06/2019 11:50
None had started when I dropped by the club last week.

 
covkid53
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
covkid53 (IP Logged)
14/06/2019 19:21
Erick is a @#$%& and a wind up merchant, he knows you know 😂

 
abdabs99rugby
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
abdabs (IP Logged)
16/06/2019 22:13
Not sure what your symbols mean covkid but doubt that they are appropriate!. When it's time to know we will be informed... Why all the impatience??. As head groundsman of course Erick will know but it dosent mean he has to tell you!!!

 
Rob C
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
Rob C (IP Logged)
17/06/2019 07:10
Quote:
abdabs
Not sure what your symbols mean covkid but doubt that they are appropriate!. When it's time to know we will be informed... Why all the impatience??. As head groundsman of course Erick will know but it dosent mean he has to tell you!!!

I get the impression Covkid's post was a light-hearted response to Erick's teasing comments.
The symbols are the codes that the forum displays when someone attempts to add emojis.

 
Jean H
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
Jean H (IP Logged)
17/06/2019 11:34
Ive often wondered what all those symbols mean,now I know!!!!!

 
Rob C
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
Rob C (IP Logged)
17/06/2019 12:33
Quote:
Jean H
Ive often wondered what all those symbols mean,now I know!!!!!

There seems to have been a problem for a while now with emojis on the message board.

 
covmick1/Michael Carter
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
17/06/2019 12:35
Eric may not post to much on here. The club will and should have A set procedure to give out information, Now a new pitch will be A very major thing to announce. So folks let us just wait for the statement from the club. Then we can all enjoy it.

covmick/Michael Carter

 
Tom Jordan
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
Tom Jordan (IP Logged)
17/06/2019 13:46
Well a portable shipping container office arrived this morning on the park side of the ground and a digger/excavator on the pitch this afternoon so perhaps things are starting to get moving!

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
AdminBTCov (IP Logged)
17/06/2019 14:17
Quote:
Rob C
Quote:
Jean H
Ive often wondered what all those symbols mean,now I know!!!!!

There seems to have been a problem for a while now with emojis on the message board.

Really? (Sm102)(Sm128)(Sm133)(Sm18)(Sm34)(Sm21)(Sm20)(Sm60)(Sm73)(Sm159)(Sm22)(Sm14)

I always put it down to operator error myself (Sm110)(Sm145)(Sm161)(Sm14)

(Hint: the board does not recognise, and has never recognised emoji coding from phones).(Sm8)

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
AdminBTCov (IP Logged)
17/06/2019 14:18
Quote:
Tom Jordan
Well a portable shipping container office arrived this morning on the park side of the ground and a digger/excavator on the pitch this afternoon so perhaps things are starting to get moving!

Cheers Tom. Whack some pics up here if you fancy it.

 
Tom Jordan
Re: To AGP or Not to AGP...
Tom Jordan (IP Logged)
17/06/2019 14:51
Not much to see at the moment, have stuck a couple up on twitter as I am not sure how to attach images here.

TomJ1979

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