11th February 2012 Morecambe
January 1, 2000
From the BRSC Chairman: JIM CHAPPELL
It was a pity that the feel good factor that has been running around the club since the departure of Paul Buckle did not have the chance to be extended last Saturday when our game at Aldershot was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
We had sold out of our allocation of stand seats and we would certainly have had another large following to cheer on Mark McGhee’s boys in their efforts to climb back up the table. Having said that, a worryingly long injury list which now includes Player of the Month Aaron Downes, would certainly have made things very difficult last week and it is problematic how many of the other lads will be fit to return to action even today. The new manager seems to be taking everything in his stride, though, and continues to impress with a matter of fact approach that has endeared him so quickly to the Rovers’ faithful as we contemplate our sixth manager in 14 months!
Our last game was, of course, the 2-0 win over Bradford City here a fortnight ago – a very close fought affair that we just about deserved to win and so go into today’s game on the back of a four match unbeaten run.
The Aldershot postponement presents us with no fewer than four midweek away trips to make before the end of the campaign whilst, in contrast, we have none left here ‘under the lights’.
The first of that quartet on the road is next Tuesday, when a depleted Rovers face a very tough trip to high flying Shrewsbury. The attraction of another -new ground to visit will surely add a few to our support. If you are
thinking of making the trip, you can book coach seats with Ralph Shaw in the Clubhouse today.
Before that we have the chance of doing a double this afternoon when Morecambe are welcome on their first ever visit to Bristol. The Shrimps were top of the table when we won an exciting match at their nice new stadium back at the end of September, but repeating the feat won’t be easy in view of the injuries and suspensions affecting the Pirates this afternoon so get behind the boys in blue and give the lads all the vocal support you can!
In the coming weeks the Executive Committee hope to be able to confirm a start on revamping the Supporters Club shop and offices at Kingswood. We are currently awaiting a final report and estimate from our advisors, and I expect to be able to report a little more on this in the very near future.
Up the Pirates!
Jim Chappell, BRSC Chairman
Michael Smith helps Eliot Richards celebrate his first goal at the Memorial Stadium, against Bradford City two weeks ago
ORGANISED JUNIOR MATCHDAY PARTIES
Today we offer a warm welcome to a party of Gasheads from Brimsham Green School, Yate.
A school with over 1,200 pupils with players from St Nicks, Shireway Rangers and Yate United as well as other junior teams around Bristol. Today may be the 1st trip to the Mem for some children, and we hope it might be the start of supporting the Blues for the rest of their lives. The party today is a mixed one with various ages and they all have one thing in common, ‘Supporting the Gas’.
Our Junior Matchday parties scheme is for schools and organised junior teams who can apply for up to 50 tree tickets in the South 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 afield for a subsidised cost.
We are fully booked, apart from either Gillingham on April 7th and Burton Albion on April 14th, which one side has an option on. So that only leaves one game to apply for. We are also taking ‘expressions of interest’ for next season.
Please email your applications to [email protected] net or phone on 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.
WHERE WE WANT TO BE
Good afternoon and welcome to the Memorial Stadium for today’s encounter against relative League newcomers Morecambe.
We were very well received by all at Morecambe for our away fixture in September and we look forward to reciprocating and enjoying our football with good friends today.
A good many of us made a weekend of it and celebrated an away win with a drink or three in the evening. Our visitors were riding high in the League table at the time
and so the win was seen as going against the form book somewhat. Looking at the table and the form at this time, we can expect a hard fought and evenly matched game.
We were disappointed not to have been involved last Saturday, but the weather won the day with a succession of hard frosts getting the better of the pitch. We know that Aldershot did all that they could, with covers laid early in the preceding week. When a game is in doubt, I agree with an early call; there’s nothing worse than uncertainty on the day of a game and travelling many miles for no purpose.
As Jim has already mentioned, it looked as though we would have had another tremendous following last Saturday, and that would have built on the tremendous following that the team enjoyed for the more local games at Hereford and Cheltenham. The away support at Cheltenham alone would have been more than some clubs in this League can expect for a home game. This is the nature of it, so we must all be together now, get right behind Mark and the players to get us back to where we want to be.
We cannot be forgiven for our expectations and foresight. So much good work has been done on the UWE stadium project already, although there are still a good few hurdles yet to overcome. The Centre of Excellence is in a very good shape under Ken Oram’s management, with a number of fine prospects coming through. The Youth side are well placed to win the League this season, with this being only the third season of full time first year scholars and the second season of full time second year youngsters.
A Championship football club in a Championship stadium, with a massive fan base, has to be a realistic ambition and target.
Talking of the Youth side, the support for the team as they close in on top spot could be better. I understand the difficulty when the first team are playing away, but there are times when we have a game at the AXA kick off at 10.30am and at the Mem kick offal 3.00pm. There are other times when the youth team are at home whilst the first team are away.
For those not planning to travel a game watching boys, and for free, is not a bad start to a weekend. Please check out the fixtures on the Youth page and see you there. The AXA is easy to find; on Cribbs Causeway just along from Clifton Rugby Club.
As far as travel goes, please take a look at the plans of your local branch. Joining Norton Radstock for the midweek game down al Plymouth could be a good call. Severn Vale (RATS) arrange transport to all away games. You will find Ivan in the Bristol Room from around midday before, home fixtures, middle right. The official Supporters Club coach is also available for booking at home games, at the desk inside the Bristol Room top left or by calling 199 in advance.
Back to today and to be where we want to be. We can play our part.
Come on Rovers, Come on you Blues.
Ken Masters, BRSC Director
The next Supporters Club General Knowledge Quiz is on Thursday, February 23rd, with a 7.45 pm start. Entry only costs £l and all profits go to the Share Scheme. Maximum of five players per team, cash prizes for the winners.
Lee Webb of St. George won £868 in the 50/50 draw at the Bradford City game, with ticket 68948, sold by Jackie Chapple at the Clubhouse turnstiles, and is pictured receiving his winnings from Jim Chappell and Matt Harrold