1st May 2010 Norwich City
January 1, 2000
1st May 2010 Norwich City
Bristol Rovers Supporters’ Club Notes compiled by Dennis Payter
From the chair
A special welcome is due today of course to the champions who will be making their first and, all going well for both clubs, their last visit to our current home. Both Norwich and Rovers made losing starts to the season all those months ago now but the ‘Canaries’ have certainly made up for that lost ground since with an instant return to the Championship whilst our lack of strength in depth has cost us any chance of making the play-offs. A top ten finish was the club’s aim at the start of the campaign and hopefully Rovers can still achieve that aim, and with it an improvement for the fifth consecutive season, with another win or a couple of draws from the last two fixtures. That will not be easy though as Rovers suffered heavy defeats early in the season to both our remaining opponents. Next Saturday we make another long trip north to try and spoil Leeds United’s promotion party but, like Norwich, they could already be safely up if today’s results go to form. The lads will need to dig into their reserves in every sense of the word today as the team is ravaged by injuries and suspensions, made worse this afternoon with an early bath for Danny Coles at Brighton last week. We looked like gaining a useful point at the Withdean until another 95th minute penalty capped another sad day by the seaside. Rovers have never done well in the League at the athletics stadium and the good news is that we have only one more visit to make there with its poor view, lack of atmosphere, park & ride and total over-stewarding! We made a detour on the way home and can report that the new Falmer Stadium looks highly impressive architecturally and is right next to the first junction off the A23/Mill Lane roundabout where the traffic congestion was tremendous last Saturday.
The opening in 2011 cannot come a day too soon! Meantime, our conversations with Brighton fans leads one to believe that the Albion have a new millionaire Chairman who is injecting large funding into his club and so they are likely to become another ‘big spender’ to compete against next season, as if there are not enough already! Even with Norwich and Leeds ‘out of the way’ next term, only one of Millwall, Southampton, Charlton, Huddersfield and MK Dons will be joining them up in the Championship. So, with Brighton also likely to be ‘spending big’ we’ll have to compete against them and the likes of Sheffield Wednesday or Crystal Palace in League One next season. As ‘Trolls’ said in the ‘Post’ recently; ‘it isn’t going to get any easier’. A good youth policy seems to be the only way and the Rovers’ revamped scheme is now just starting to bear fruit with Chris Lines already a fixture in the midfield and messrs Swallow, Reece and Richards starting to get regular opportunities in the first team as a result of the aforementioned injuries and suspensions. Please keep buying the Supporters Club’s 50/50 half-time draw tickets and we can continue to help to fund this expensive investment in Rovers’ future. Another £21,000 has been raised by the 50/50 again this season and that despite there being no success in any of the cup competitions. Hopefully this situation and therefore our sales will improve next season!
Finally, my thanks to all our match day sellers and helpers for their efforts in all winds and weathers as usual this last year. Thanks also to those of you who have helped the club by buying the 50/50 tickets and this award-winning programme. Let’s hope that similar efforts next season will take Rovers that one further step closer to the Championship that today’s opponents will grace again themselves in just three month’s time. Have a great summer and see you all back at the ‘Mem’ in August!
Player of the Year
You have until the end of today’s game to get your vote in for the Supporters Club Player of the Year.
Who will get your vote? Will it be Chris Lines, Jeff Hughes or will Stuart Campbell regain the trophy he lost to Rickie Lambert last year.
Don’t forget also the Young Player of the Year where leading candidates are Mikkel Andersen, Ben Swallow, Charlie Reece and Charlie Clough.
Voting forms are available at Pirate Leisure, the Supporters Club shop in Kingswood and in the SC bar and portacabin at today’s game and must be put in the voting boxes by the end of today.
The awards evening will be on Sunday, May 9, in the SC bar when all the first team squad will be present. Entertainment will be provided by Lance Cook of Pirate Sounds with goals of the season by Screen Soccer. Admission is £2.50 and the evening kicks off at 7.45 pm.
Good afternoon and a warm welcome to all for the very last home game of the 2009-10 campaign. We especially welcome Canaries fans and extend our congratulations to them on the way that they have supported their team all season.
The Canaries have a much larger fan base than the City of Norwich itself with their support coming from all over Norfolk. We are working to cement our fan base out into the Shires with branches in Somerset, Gloucestershire, up the Midlands and in Edinburgh. All of our branches are being allocated a batch of membership cards for 2010-11. Branches will be meeting over the coming weeks and so you will be able to renew your membership or sign up for the first time. If you are already a member, please introduce a family member, neighbour or friend. We will be very pleased to welcome them.
The first gathering of “Gloster Gas” will take place at the Double Gloucester, Longlevens, on Thursday 13th May at 8pm. The pub sounds good with a reserved area for us, darts, skittles alley and all that makes for a Rovers friendly and enjoyable venue. The branch is being set up for those around Gloucester, Cheltenham, Tewksbury and the Forest. The pub is well placed for the A40 and M5. Please come along.
This summer spare a thought and a few pennies for the Alba 42 Football Tour. A group of Gas will be visiting all 42 Scottish League grounds to raise money for CLIC Sargent cancer care for children. Contact [email protected].
199 is open right through for all of your Rovers retail. Pop in for tickets and merchandise; Bernie is always pleased to see you.
Finally, thank you. Just for being part of us and keeping the faith. Yes, I get stick. I put myself up and expect it. Why? Because we are all passionate about our football club, that’s why. Together we can, come on Rovers, come on you Blues.
Rovers Surfer Flag
Fans may have seen a thread on the official forum from Matt Spicer requesting support to buy a giant flag for the Blackthorn End. There is no need! Nick Higgs has offered to buy it for the supporters – a great gesture so thanks to Nick and to Matt for starting the campaign.
Share Scheme Signed Shirt Draw
Today we will be presenting Anthony Cook with the signed shirt he won in the draw at the Brentford game on Saturday 17th April.
At the Brentford game John Edwards was presented with the shirt he won in the draw at the Southend game on Saturday 27th March
Organised Juniors Matchday Parties
We are again next season running organised junior’s matchday parties. For those unaware this scheme, which has operated successfully for the last 6 seasons, is for schools and organised junior teams who can apply for up to 50 free matchday tickets in the Becks Stand or Family Enclosure. This will include for some parents to supervise them. Eagle Coaches has again agreed to provide a free bus within the Bristol area and will go further a field for a subsidised cost. As an example Yate and other areas on the fringes of Bristol will cost £125 places further away such as Bath or Frome would cost £150 so still good value at £2.50/ £3 a head. We are expecting this to be popular again so please register your interest.
Please get your applications to [email protected] or (07765) 254110. There will only be one coach per game so priority will be given on a first come first serve basis but we will also give higher consideration to parties who will fill the coach. We would also be pleased to hear from smaller parties who can make their own way to the ground.
Many thanks again to Eagle Coaches
Director and Share Scheme Chairman.
Darren Gifford of Trowbridge, won £826 in the 50/50 draw at the Brentford match. His winning ticket 40275 was sold by Marc Radford in the pubs and bars.