16th August 2011 Northampton Town
January 1, 2000
BRSC programme notes
ALL THE WAY
Good evening to all at the Memorial Stadium for tonight’s encounter with Gary Johnson’s Northampton Town.
We extend a warm welcome to Cobblers supporters and wish them an enjoyable evening of football with us and a safe journey back to the East Midlands and other parts after the game.
There are many football people who would think Northampton to be a proper football club; a club which should be playing its football at a higher level. Such a position and status is not a right of course and, like us, the Cobblers will be working hard to get to where they want to be.
Gary Johnson has a very good track record at getting clubs promoted, and we can be sure that he has his mind set on doing the very same at Northampton. Gary is well known to us, of course, as the manager of not one but two West Country football clubs. He did very well to take our friends at Yeovil Town out of non league football and into the Football League, a status that they have maintained since.
It is my understanding that Gary also recommended a certain Latvian international midfielder to Bristol Rovers when Ollie was manager at the club. We will acknowledge that as a good move all round, and welcome Gary accordingly.
Because of the editor’s copy and printing time scales, I am writing these notes ahead of our first home league game of the season against Torquay United. I can therefore only reflect on pre season and our first away game at AFC Wimbledon.
Nobody associated with Bristol Rovers wanted relegation and to my mind we rallied valiantly over the last ten or twelve games of last season to avoid perhaps the inevitable in the eyes of many football pundits and observers. Let’s be honest, we felt let down and it hurt. We have a reputation of being amongst the best and most loyal supporters in the League, home and around the country. We have shown that yet again by carrying the rallying spirit on over the summer, through pre season and now at the start of the new campaign. Attendances at our pre season games attracted gates that most other League Two clubs would take as a decent total for a competitive league game. Such is what we are at this level.
My webwatch article in the Torquay programme looked at the pre season predictions for League Two. Notwithstanding all of the changes that have taken place over the summer, we are up there as one of the favourites not just for promotion but even as table topping champions. Surely we have turned a negative situation into a very positive one in just a couple of months, and we must now carry that on over the course of the season. There is a long way to go, a lot of football to be played, and we will doubtless suffer from setbacks over the course of the season but I firmly believe, as many others do, that if will stick together through thick and thin we can do this.
We were magnificent at Wimbledon, where we turned out in numbers, and could have been many more if the ground size had allowed. Our away support alone will come as a bit of a shock to most clubs at this level. We can make every game feel like a home game for our players, and we will.
We have a home game this evening, and it’s one we want to win. We cannot discount a Gary Johnson team from being there, or thereabouts, come the end.
Ken Masters, BRSC director
Welcome to all for what was scheduled to be our third home game in the space of just seven days; probably as hectic a start as Rovers have seen for several years.
Unfortunately the morons enjoying themselves in Stokes Croft and up the Gloucester Road a week ago put paid to our Carling Cup tie here against Championship club Watford, and that will have to be played next week when most of the rest play their Second Round matches.
Judging by how busy it has been in our club shop at Kingswood, on top of the activity here in Pirate Leisure, our return to League Two has been met with anticipation of better times ahead and that anticipation has been fuelled by the way that Paul Buckle and his men have set about the stiff task ahead. Aggressive, (in the nicest possible way!), attacking football has always been what Rovers’ supporters love and that is exactly how it was pre season, at Wimbledon and hopefully here at home last Saturday against Torquay, these notes having been written beforehand. we ce the Cobblers from tpporters tonight concentrate on giving our own team the vocal backing they
As well as the good start on the pitch all Rovers supporters will, of course, have been much buoyed up by the news announced during the close season that a new stadium is to be built in conjunction with the University of the West of England on UWE’s land at Filton. This exciting development is still in its early stages, publicly at least, whilst I know much has gone on behind the scenes for a couple of years now.
Soon will come the time when the various public planning meetings take place and that will be when Rovers fans living in South Gloucestershire, (for the new stadium), and around the Memorial Stadium, (for the retail development that will fund the project}, will need to voice their support. Many of us who are ‘long in the tooth’ have been through this several times in the past, most recently of course when Bristol City Council finally gave permission to redevelop the Mem a couple of years ago.
However, a completely new and larger stadium on the edge of the city is a much more exciting prospect and allows Rovers to remain here unaffected until moving day. It is a pain having to go through it all yet again but this time all the planning officers seem to be on our side and the prize is much greater. The Supporters Club will be right behind the Football Club when the public process gets under way and I know that we can rely on our members for their support when the planning meetings take place. Obviously there will be more on this in the not too distant future so keep an eye on this column, our website and the local press for more news.
<p class=”western” lang=”en-GB”> Jim Chappell, BRSC chairman
ORGANISED JUNIOR MATCHDAY PARTIES
This scheme 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 3 free bus within the Bristol area and will go further afield for a subsidised cost. As an example Yate and other areas on the fringes of Bristol will cost £125, places further afield such as Bath or Frame would cost £150 so still good value at £2.50/£3 a head. We are expecting this to be popular again so please apply early to [email protected] or phone on 07765 254110.