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Cardiff Blues - hope for the future?

Pot Hale
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Post by Newsilure Mon 02 Apr 2018, 6:03 pm

First topic message reminder :

As a Blues fan I am delighted that they have exceeded my expectations, if not my hopes, for the season. After this weekend’s win in Edinburgh we are in a good position to get to the final of the Challenge Cup and our recent league performances mean we should qualify for next year’s Champions Cup. We also have a chance to get to the Pro 14 playoff’s, but it’s when thinking of that possibility and the future that I find doubts really bring me back to earth with a bump.

After picking up a few injuries on the weekend it seems quite likely that our resources will be too thin to allow us to make playoff qualification and even if we did we would struggle to hold our own with the other playoff teams who will mainly be also semi-finalists in the Champions Cup. Danny Wilson and his team have got just about the maximum achievement that can be expected from the available players and it is hard not to feel that without significant investment our new coach will do very well just to maintain our position let alone improve it.
These are the main reasons I feel doubts about the future –

1. The size and to some degree age of our current squad. The Scarlets have a squad of 53 players, the Dragons 50, the Ospreys 45 and the Blues only 38. Our best front row will average 39 years old by this Christmas.
2. We haven’t recruited any players for next season. The Dragons have already recruited about 8 and the Osprey’s and Scarlets several each. Our only new player is Ollie Robinson who is already included in the squad of 38. We have a very strong academy and, if the money is available, several of them will take up full contracts next year but experienced recruits are essential to further develop the squad.
3. Our current head coach gave notice in September, presumably preferring to be an assistant coach elsewhere rather than slog on trying to build a team without money. We have spent six months scouring the world for a new coach and have been unable to attract any top flight candidates, presumably because they can see little hope of being successful. No offence to John Mulvihill, who I hope will be a great success, but 6 months ago would he have been in anyone’s top 10, 20, or even 30 candidates?
4. There are 17 dual contract players in Wales but only two of them are with the Blues and one of those is Sam who hasn’t played this year, and yes he is one of the 38 in the squad. Even successful players that owe their start to the Blues, such as Lee Halfpenny, Bradley Davies and even Jamie Roberts have turned down opportunities to re-join. I don’t blame them as they clearly have the same doubts as me about the region’s future.
5. Our Chief Executive and board seem more interested in developing a future than the playing squad. As a Glamorgan cricket fan this reminds me so much of the years that club has wasted trying to attract test cricket to the stadium rather than trying to build a successful team. That is completely the opposite prioritisation to that which the fans would choose.

The only ways I can see things changing are if we get a new owner/board or if the WRU changes to equally share centrally contracted players amongst the clubs.


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Post by Cardiff Dave Fri 15 Jun 2018, 4:54 pm

The Oracle wrote:
Cardiff Dave wrote:New owners of the pie shop soon.
I'm welling up. It'll never be the same again. Like Clark's.

All the sugar daddies are bailing.  I smell a rat!

New stadium deal finally been sorted maybe?
More to follow no doubt.

Cardiff Dave

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 21 Jun 2018, 3:41 am

Shrewd signing in Arhip but I feel you still need more in that front 5, especially if you're playing against Sarries with two 7's, with Cooke and Turnbull as the back-up...


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Post by PhilBB Fri 29 Jun 2018, 9:49 am

Thomas is only stepping down (in 12 months' time, allegedly) as Chairman.

He'll still be the second biggest shareholder.

New signings to be announced next week, too.

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