17th March 2012 AFC Wimbledon
January 1, 2000
From the BRSC Chairman: JIM CHAPPELL
I am very optimistic about the future of Bristol Rovers despite dropping points in our last three games.
There are a couple of reasons for this, the first being our new manager’s reaction to the results. The goalless home draw against lowly Macclesfield was probably to be expected as, incredibly, we have never beaten The Silkmen at home since they joined the Football League!
Indeed the game followed the pattern of nearly all our previous encounters against them here at the ‘Mem’ – a bit dour with Rovers unable to break them down. Still, some good football was played and Mark McGhee was philosophical about the result. The two away games played since threw up contrasting ways of dominating matches whilst still throwing away most of the points on offer!
It was like a throwback to before Christmas at Northampton where Rovers simply didn’t get started for 20 minutes and we were three down without the home side really having to, break sweat. From then on there was a major improvement and we dominated the rest of the match but could not quite just get the equaliser we deserved despite a frantic finish in front of 400 Rovers fans.
Mr McGhee insisted on playing right from the start at promotion chasing Torquay and, backed by a packed away end of over 1,000 Rovers fans, we, dominated the ‘Gulls’ and fully deserved our two goal lead. Unfortunately a lack of concentration after scoring the second and a sloppy bit of attacking play in the very last minute saw another couple of points gifted away. The Manager’s reaction to that goal was clear for all the away fans to see and he took immediate action by substituting the substitute! A rare occurrence indeed, but it proves that he means business – I like it!
I was invited to the press announcement confirming the submission of Rovers’ planning application for the new stadium to be built at the Frenchay campus of the University of the West of England. Some stunning new photo images were displayed and these have since appeared in the Bristol Evening Post so I guess most of you will have seen them by now. The stadium will be fantastic, certainly up to the standard set by Brighton’s new AMEX facility and better than both the two new Welsh club grounds at Cardiff and Swansea in my opinion
So that was my second reason for continuing to feel optimistic about Rovers’ future! Chairman Nick Higgs, the mastermind behind the new development, has promised the Supporters Club will have a grand facility built into the new stadium with a view over the pitch from behind the Bristol end goal. Our job will be to fund the fitting out of this part of the development and our two Supporters Directors, Ken Masters and Brian Seymour Smith, and I have some ideas on how we are going to achieve this. We will be meeting up with Nick to progress this in the coming weeks and we’ll announce what is finally decided in due course. Meantime, we are hoping for good news from the South Gloucestershire Council in June and from Bristol City Council on the proposed Sainsbury’s development here that will fund the stadium project by the end of July.
With Mark McGhee running the team I’m sure we are in for a truly exciting period in Rovers’ long history in the next few years!
Back to the present and the chance for another ‘double’ at Wimbledon’s expense this afternoon following our -opening day victory in South London. That proved to be something of a ‘false dawn’ and it won’t be easy today so get behind the boys in blue and let’s get back on the winning track. We need to be ready for a real promotion ‘push’ come August!
Up the Pirates!
Lewis Sanders of Wotton-under-Edge won £788 in our 50/50 draw at the Macclesfield game with ticket 54414 sold by Pete Collins in Filton Avenue and is seen here receiving his winnings from Jim Chappell
You will recall history was made when we kicked off our season in front of the TV cameras at AFC Wimbledon as they made their Football League debut, ending with us coming away with our first three points of the season.
I have no doubt they will be seeking revenge for that defeat today.
I am delighted to inform you that Ken Masters, Jim Chappell and I have been working hard with the Bristol Rovers Supporters Club Executive team to spread the Rovers message by increasing the number of regional supporters clubs around the country and affiliating them to the main body of Bristol Rovers Supporters Club.
On Monday, a meeting took place of the West Midlands Gas and the group chatted with Jim about how we could affiliate. This is now going to happen. At the end of March, Ken will have established an East Midlands Branch and again we will be looking for this group to affiliate also.
There are several reasons why I feel this needs to happen.
Firstly, because you like me, will know many Rovers supporters living in different parts of the country wish to feel part of the club but are exiled because of distance. We want all Rovers fans to feel part and parcel of our club by keeping them informed of what’s going on and offering them the opportunity to take an active part in their club, despite living a long way away.
Secondly, I’m sure you share my delight in the progress we are making in moving forward with a new stadium. The news that the club has progressed with a planning application is music to our ears after so many false dawns. There is still a long way to go in the process and we must all keep our feet on the ground by supporting the club in this process. The Chairman will constantly advise you on how this can be done as we move forward.
As you will be aware the new stadium will hold 21,700 people. If we are to fill that stadium week after week, we must ensure that we are offering the right packages and encouraging Rovers supporters from whichever part of the country they live, to come along and ensure they are part of this new exciting era of our club.
To help them do this, there will be a new Supporters Club facility at our new stadium. We will be seeking to chat to you and everyone connected with the Share Scheme in due course about how together, we can work to ensure this new facility meets all our expectations.
Already many of you
have kindly offered your contributions on what you would like to see in the ground to improve your experience. This includes recognition of those Rovers fans and players of the past who have meant so much to our club and brought us to the position we are in today. All your ideas will be discussed as things progress. But most importantly of all we need you, as Rovers supporters, to back this scheme and back our club. So please stay tuned.
Finally, now that the planning applicatio has been made, the chairman is set to meE myself and Ken to move forward your Fans Ideas. As you will be aware one or two idea have already come to fruition. Nevertheles. this only the start of the process, not the
end. I hope to update you further on the progress of many of these ideas, hopefully within the next two weeks.
Enjoy the match UTG!
Yours in friendship
Brian Seymour-Smith, BRSC director
ORGANISED JUNIOR MATCHDAY PARTIES
Today we offer a warm welcome to a party of young Rovers fans from Coniston Primary School in Patchway.
The school has approximately 180 pupils, who range in age from 7-11 years old. Several of them play in the school’s footbal team and are keen to see a professional game. It is their first trip to the Memorial Stadium and, hopefully, the start of a lifelong relationship with Bristol Rovers Football Club.
Organised Junior Matchday Parties have again operated successfully this year and we are now fully booked up to the end of this season. However if you are a small part and can make your own way to the stadiun we have some availability for the Good Friday game against Gillingham on Friday, April 6th. We are now keeping a reserve list and taking expressions of interest for 2012/13. Please email your applications to [email protected] or phone on (07765) 254110.