Real Opportunities – 19/2/07

January 1, 2000

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Good afternoon to you all and welcome to the supporters of M K Dons. It seems to me that we have now got used to the idea of the name change, transformation and relocation of Wimbledon Football Club to Buckinghamshire. I will interested to learn of what has the transpired regarding the fan base of our visitors today. Doubtless many new fans have emerged from Milton Keynes and surrounding area whilst a number will still have their roots in South London. The move from the capital has run in parallel with a tumble down the divisions for the Dons but this season has brought about a bit of a revival with the football club being there or there abouts at the top of this division for most of the season. We have shown ourselves to be a match for anyone on our day and so this afternoon’s encounter promises to be close and well fought.

The past few weeks have been very busy ones for Pirate Leisure, 199 Two Mile Hill and the match day ticket office. Our FA Cup tie at Derby County being quickly followed by our place in the Southern Area of the JPT. Staff and volunteers have been stretched to satisfy all demands and we know of the problems of long queues, particularly at 199. Thank you to all who have given a hand to Steve Burns and his team and thank you all for your patience. We have done our best to respond to the many telephone calls and to be fair to all of our supporters through the priority system. I have a good deal of sympathy for supporters who can’t get to Pirate Leisure easily. A good number live away from Bristol, travel many miles to be with us for home games but clearly find it difficult to make their way to the Stadium or Kingswood during the week. Many of our exiles are season ticket holders and /or members of the Supporters Club. We will need to give some thoughts to the difficulties experienced by this group of Gasheads.

The next couple of weeks present us with a number of real opportunities. First of all there is the prospect of following our team to the Millennium Stadium on the occasion of the JP National Final. We will be there in our thousands. I for one am aching for it. Whoever comes down from the north, with all due respect, there will be more of us there than them. It would be our opportunity to show the world of football what Bristol Rovers means to us, how big we really are and just what potential lies ahead for us when we move into the regenerated Memorial Stadium. Bring it on! Of course between now and then there is the smaller matter of overcoming our Southern Final opponents. Therein lies a second opportunity. To demonstrate to Bristol planners and to the great Bristol public that we are a responsible and law abiding bunch that do not intimidate our neighbours or cause any kind of trouble in any way what so ever; to show them that they are justified in the faith and confidence that they have afforded us in recent weeks. There will be spotlights and microscopes to be sure. The media interest will be as much on us as the games themselves if not more so. Don’t lets give them anything; on the pitch or off it.

Returning to this afternoons match. The previous games against Darlo and Grimsby resulted in disappointment. It was not good to see us go two up on our travels last week only to concede goals and finish up loosing. We have the chance to get back on track today. Let’s here it for Trolls and the boys, get right behind them.

Come on Rovers, Come on you Blues!

Ken Masters  

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