25th September 2010 Notts County
January 1, 2000
BRSC programme notes
compiled by Dennis Payter
I had to miss a Rovers’ match for the first time in three years last Saturday, in order to attend my eldest sister’s 80th birthday celebrations, (along with our secretary and a couple of other programme contributors who are all close family members!).
It was typical, then, that the Pirates should register a first away win for six months and I have already received a couple of requests to stay at home again in the future! Unfortunately, and on a more serious note, we were not the only ones to miss out as one of the Supporters Club’s official coaches broke down on the way to Dagenham and, as a replacement could not be found in the local area, another vehicle had to travel up from Bristol to bring the whole party back home. I suppose breakdowns like this, whilst very rare, can happen at any time but it always seems to be when the team produces a good result and so makes the whole experience much worse. At the time of writing, we are still negotiating with Eagle Travel and our insurers so I am not able to advise the final outcome, but I’m sure that we will arrange compensation for those members who were affected. Hopefully we can confirm this in our column in next Tuesday’s programme. Meantime my commiserations, and apologies, on behalf of the club to all those who had their day spoilt.
The win at Dagenham was, of course, much needed and with two home games coming up within four days there is a great chance for the team to climb up into the top half of the table for the first time this season. Such a turn around would hopefully silence the critics who have already started calling for the manager’s head after only half a dozen games.
‘Trolls’ had clearly decided that last season’s squad was not quite good enough to further improve on what had already been achieved on a limited budget in what is still an extremely tough division.
Four new players, a third of the team, and a complete change in the backroom staff, was obviously going to take a little while to get up to speed and those who are so quick to criticise should remember where we were when Paul took over as Player Coach. Equally as important to my mind, as you will know if you are regular readers of this column, has been the total revamping of Rovers’ Youth Scheme which is only now just starting to bear real fruit after years of neglect under previous managers.
Real ‘Bristol kiddies’ are now appearing regularly in the first team squad, after almost a decade of reliance on some decidedly ‘third-rate journeymen’ who provided us with that awful long spell in the basement division. Further major improvement is bound to take time whilst Rovers have to compete with some very big clubs in our league, and with a seemingly desperate millionaire backed outfit as neighbours in our own city.
Today’s visitors know all about big money investment, and having big city neighbours, but Notts seem to have ridden their storm and are certain to provide stiff opposition this afternoon. Rovers will have to be at their very best, as will you the supporters, if we are to take all the points today so get behind the lads and let’s silence the critics for another week at least!
SHARE SCHEME SIGNED SHIRT DRAW
Today we will be presenting Vernon Davey with the signed shirt he won in the draw at the Brentford game.
At that game, Laura O’Sullivan collected a signed shirt on behalf of David Wookey which he won in the draw at the Yeovil game.
Please submit 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.
Jenny James of Almondsbury won £726 at the Brentford game with ticket number 49459, sold by Pete Collins in Filton Avenue.
HIGHS AND LOWS
Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon’s encounter with newly promoted Notts County.
A warm welcome to Notts fans who have made the long trip down from the East Midlands. Enjoy your time with us and a safe journey home to Nottingham and other parts after the game.
I always feel we have a lot in common with Notts. We are both part of a two club city with a long history. We are the oldest of the respective clubs on our patch but thought, by a few observers, to be the smaller. History and measures of fan base do not agree with that view; supporters of Rovers and Notts certainly do not.
League Two was not the place for us, and neither was it the place for Notts, although in football you have to take where you are and work hard to get better. It is good to be playing them again in League One. This fixture has been a second tier meeting in the past and I am sure that, in the not too distant future, it will be again.
Football is a game of highs and lows. It is that in part that makes it such a compelling game to follow. I agree with what Daggers manager John Still had to say after our very welcome, and hard fought, victory at Victoria Road last Saturday; “Football being the game that it is, a game of ups and downs, I always say I never get too high with success and never get too low with disappointments. You’ve just got to overcome the disappointments.”
I understand that the early season views of some have been fashioned by one away game, one home game and a Carling Cup game. In all of the other five games we have come out with something. The management team, staff, and players have worked very hard to overcome the disappointments of those three early games.
Credit where credit is due; we have since gone 225 minutes of football without conceding a goal and return to the Mem today off the back of an away win that did much to boost confidence in what we are trying to do here at Bristol Rovers. We are supporting a young side that requires not least our patience and backing; before, during and after football matches. It was a good day last Saturday. In addition the Eirst Teams’ success on the road, the Ll-18’s won well at Cribbs by winning 6-0 against Yeovil. Our newly formed Midlands based Central U-18’s picked up an away draw in their ever first competitive game.
It was good to meet up with John Still last Saturday. He told me how he very much enjoyed his time here and that he has a long standing affection for our club. He asked me to pass on his best wishes to all at Bristol Rovers. He could not have failed to have been impressed with the away support that we showed last week. It was a very difficult journey, for a number of reasons, but the 523 Gas that made it played a huge part in bringing about our success on the day; thank you very sincerely but, as our highly respected former assistant manager says; “never get too high with success, never get too low with disappointments.” We face a