LIGHT'S OUT is the weekly column about sport in the Cotswolds by Gloucestershire CCC President John Light
TRAFALGAR DAY is associated with heroism and courage and this year saw yet another example, albeit at a more trivial level.
Forest Green Rovers’ chairman Dale Vince took action and manager Dave Hockaday left the club by mutual consent.
It was a decision that was inevitable – seven defeats in eight matches is all the evidence needed but there will be no rejoicing in the Lighthouse.
It is always sad when a decent man loses his job and Hockaday is exactly that. He has high standards and high personal values and everyone hoped he could lead FGR forward.
The evidence that this was not happening became overwhelming, however, and full marks to Dale for acting and, of course, good wishes to ex-manager Dave and wife Geraldine.
The task of the new manager will be difficult. This was clearly evident on Saturday when Rovers were booted out of the FA Cup by a team of part-timers from the league below them.
Those of us watching felt let down by a dismal display from a team of well-paid, full-time professionals.
In an intriguing development, it was suggested that former Arsenal and England legend Tony Adams, who lives in Coates near Cirencester, has thrown his hat in the ring for the job. That would be an interesting appointment.
Readers know of my love of the club and will be surprised to know that, using football parlance, I may ask to go on loan to Cirencester Town.
The new manager at the New Lawn will not have an easy task, being handicapped by the length of too many existing contracts. All of us must give him time and not expect instant results.
There is just one request from me – enthuse the players! An energetic, determined performance is needed every game. We are constantly told the players have ability and although some of us are having doubts about this there is no reason why a more spirited approach to matches should not be evident.
I mention coming on loan to Cirencester Town for two reasons. They are playing splendidly and Rita Davies’ cup of tea is the best I have drunk in more than 50 years of soccer watching. Saturday’s 4-3 win was a thrilling game and Cirencester are very well placed in their league.
Striker Lee ‘Smudger’ Smith is in what I think is his third spell at the town club and is playing the football of his life. I hope he stays for the season.
A good cricket season was reported on by chairman Phil Carter at the Annual General Meeting of the CDCA. This was a heartening occasion to attend as so much common sense was spoken about taking the game forward, and in this area that is exactly what is happening.
Opportunities exist for players of both sexes, young or old so make the most of them. This last sentence is aimed at anyone thinking of joining a local cricket club. Do it and you will not regret it.
Thanks to Cirencester Cricket Club for hosting the meeting and to Brian Woodward for lighting up the path to the pavilion door. In the interests of accuracy I must mention that Carter smiled. He had good reason to.
Also smiling is chairman of Lechlade CC, Paul Rowley. He had made some more amazing signings. It is no surprise that Lechlade attract good players. They play at the highest level of any of our local clubs and is it not the right of any player to try and play at the highest level?
Players will always move clubs in an attempt to do this. They should, however, be open and honest with their original club because the move may not work out and they may wish to return.
Someone else may return. I mean, of course, Jon Lewis who for so long was Gloucestershire’s leading bowler, before Surrey came shopping.
Jon still has much to offer, especially in his guidance of young bowlers and I am not alone in hoping he spends next year with us. There are no hard facts yet but do watch this space.
Someone who watches this column closely has taken me to task and correctly, I think.
In mentioning the strongest bowling attacks in this area, I forgot to include Birdlip (Messenger J, Armstrong D, Griffin B and Messenger M).
Indeed, they were formidable but when they were at their best I was away, earning a crust and meeting Mrs Light. Obviously I had other things on my mind.
On all our minds last Wednesday (October 23) was Robbie Hopkins.
Sportsmen of all ages – cricketers – footballers – canoeists – joined the packed congregation in Watermoor Church.
It was obvious that Robbie had no opponents, just friends he played with. He was part of the fabric of Cotswolds sporting life as well as so much more besides. The huge congregation estimated at over 600 was a memorial in itself but more so was the poem read by his
She movingly captured the love she had for her dad reading her own composition.
Her words, her voice, that moment, were so proper, so pure and so true.
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