In the second of our in depth interviews with the Gloucester City squad we speak to Matt Coupe.\n\nThe tough tackling defender is now the elder statesman of the dressing room following the retirement of Matt Rose and says he will never lose the passion he shows out on the pitch.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nLike Will Morford, your deal to stay at Gloucester was sewn up quite a while ago, but you weren’t planning on going anywhere else were you? \n\nMatt: No I wasn’t going anywhere, I love being here, it was never in doubt. The Gaffer has been happy with my performance so it was just a matter of tying it up.\n\nI’ve known the Gaffer since I was 18, since I was at Forest Green. I trust his judgement and know that every year he’s been at Gloucester he’s improved performances. Although we only moved one place up the table last season the team was so much better than the year before, everyone could see it. If we get a few new faces in for next season it really could give us an edge.\n\n Mike Green (keeper) will be back next season, is that important for the team?\n\nMatt: To be honest I’ve not really had much experience playing with Mike, but what I have seen has been impressive. He is a real asset to the team.\n\nIf you look at the league last season we had something like the fifth best defensive record in terms of goals conceded and it could’ve been a lot better, we had a few games where we shipped in goals.\n\n The Gaffer said last week that Tom Hamblin could be “the next Matt Coupe” – have you been schooling him on how to be a no-nonsense defender? \n\nMatt: Hammo is an excellent defender, he’s probably one of the lads I’m closest to too. He wants to do well and I think he could play at a higher level one day. I do try to pass on some of my knowledge to him and we do have a few ding dongs too here and there.\n\nThe Gaffer has done well to get him on a two year deal, he’s identified who could get offers from elsewhere and made sure we keep hold of them.\n\nCity have gained a reputation as one of the more physical sides in the league and managed to pick up quite a few red cards last season, do you think we are that rough? \n\nMatt: There have been a few red cards, and we’ve had some awful tackles go in against us and in a lot of games I think we are being too honest. Maybe we shouldn’t be bouncing straight back up again, maybe we should roll around on the floor a bit more like some players from other teams who perhaps haven’t got as many cards as us, maybe some of them are play acting where we have been standing straight back up again.\nWe aren’t that physical, we work hard out there, we just need to be consistent, we know we can do it, we just have to go out there and do it every week\n You are known for your passion on the pitch, Matt Lock mentioned it in his season review and Tyler Weir mentioned it in his last interview before his loan ended, has that always been part of your game and are you going to mellow at all next season?\nMatt: I’ve always been like this, I’ve always played with passion, sometimes it gets me into trouble but there are a lot of players who are better than me in terms of ability who could do with showing a bit of the passion I do on the pitch.\nAnd finally do you remember your appearance for Gloucester City Reserves back in 1997 \nMatt: Yes, we were away at Stoke, it was a night game and it was just after I’d been released by Swindon, before I signed for Forest Green. Having grown up in Stroud I was always interested in the local clubs, Gloucester lost their way for a bit and during that time Bath rose but now the tables have turned a bit, we are showing what we can do and I think Bath might find it hard next season.\nNow Matt Rose has gone I am one of the more senior players in the dressing room. I get it right sometimes, I get it wrong sometimes but I just try to point the younger players in the right direction. Sometimes I don’t get my points across as well as I could do but I’m just trying to help them. It’s frightening to think I am the oldest, when I was at Forest Green someone told me “just enjoy it because it will be gone before you know it” and that’s what I’m doing.\nIn all my career I’d say its the best group of lads I’ve played with and I’m lucky that Darren Edwards, who I’ve known for ages and who I knew wasn’t having a happy time at Bath, could come and be part of it.
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