Oldham programme notes

February 13, 2008

[image1]Get Behind The Team

I was very disappointed with some of the crowd reaction to the team’s performance against Port Vale

But  it was good to get another three points in the bag that day, even if it proved to be a bit of a struggle due to our profligacy in front of goal!

I sincerely hope that we are not going to become like the incessant moaners we hear from, (far too often), from another ground in Bristol! I only get to a seat in the Uplands Stand after half-time due to making the 50/50 Draw and it was a shock to hear some of the comments shouted from quite a few people who are clearly season ticket holders.

O.K., you pay your money and have every right to a point of view but, seriously, the Rovers were then undefeated in ten matches with three consecutive wins beforehand and the previous home game had resulted in us dumping yet another Premier League team out of the F.A. Cup. No chance for just a slightly ‘off day’ then for the players and, as for some of the abuse levelled at Paul Trollope when he made a brave substitution, well frankly it was a disgrace!

Fortunately ‘Trolls’ got it right yet again but I never heard any of the moaners taking their words back and I don’t suppose we ever will hear them confess to being wrong. After all, these loudmouths who never support but just criticise all the time, must surely all be ex Premiership players, past Internationals with world-wide footballing experience and of course be holders of FIFA coaching badges? No?, I wonder why! How do these people know what is discussed and planned on the training pitch and behind the dressing room door? Are they aware of every slight injury any one of the lads might be carrying, any illness or other problem that might be affecting them?

I guess they can spot any change in tactics by the opposition, who oddly enough are also intent on winning three points if they can, and can see much better ways of producing another easy home win! Obviously a few seasons spent on the Downs or knocking about with some pub team in the Suburban League or Sunday League qualifies them more eminently than our management duo – I think not! We all have our opinion and every supporter has his/her favourite players but, when they are adversely affected by managerial decisions we should remind ourselves that those same players have been brought here most likely by the very man who is the victim of the abuse being levelled at him from the stands and terraces. It is worth reminding everyone as to where this club was in the Football league when Paul Trollope was asked to become caretaker less than two years ago. Two fine cup runs, two national finals and a promotion campaign that had started in the relegation zone are testament to the sound and steady progress being made.

Bristol Rovers are lucky to have one of the brightest young Coaches in football management today. He always acts in a calm and dignified manner and never gets carried away by hype, bad refereeing decisions or a dip in form – unlike some of our so-called supporters. If anyone was a failure against Port Vale it was us supporters as the crowd were unusually silent just at a time when the players needed a lift. Our brilliant fans invariably respond when things aren’t going so well but not until young Chris Lines, (who would not have even been on the field under the previous manager), scored the equaliser did the noise levels reach the required level. I am only referring to the very few ‘know-it-all’ critics while I’m having this rant so please don’t take it as a general criticism – I just don’t want this place to get like Ashton Gate! Things seemed to be very much back to normal the following Tuesday night when our boys comfortably put away the Robins from Cheltenham to stretch our unbeaten run to eleven matches. I doubt if it will have been so easy last Saturday at Doncaster or if it will be again here tonight so please get behind the lads as usual and let’s silence the moaners for good. Up the Pirates!

Jim Chappell.

Support All Round

Good evening and welcome to you all for this mid week League 1 fixture with Oldham Athletic under the Memorial Stadium lights; a warm welcome indeed to those who are following the fortunes of the famous old Lancashire club from Greater Manchester.  You may have made the long haul down the M6/5 or you may have travelled from other parts to support your team. Good to have you with us and a safe journey home after the game.

A little bit in the shadow of the two Manchester giants, The Latics enjoy the company other near neighbours in the shape of Bolton, Bury, Rochdale and Stockport. Other clubs in the traditional Lancashire and in West Yorkshire are not so far from Boundary Park either. The competition for supporters is immense in that part of the world and so we owe the greatest of respect to those who stand by their local club.

Oldham have certainly bounced up and down the League pyramid a bit in recent years following their Division Two Championship triumph in 1990-91. Many will remember the highly controversial aspect of life at Boundary Park with the laying of the artificial or plastic surface as it was known during the period 1986 to 1991. The Latics also have the distinction of being founder members of the FA Premier League.

Way back in 1895, the club were formed as Pine Villa before changing their name just four years later and playing with a good deal of credit in the Manchester area. Playing in The League for the first time in the 1907-08 season The Latics finished highly placed in third spot in the Second Division. A promotion to the top tier came soon after in 1909-10.

Coming right up to date Oldham reached the League 1 play offs last season and so our 1-0 win at Boundary Park back in August was an excellent result for Paul, Lennie and the team. In the event our visitors did not make the best of starts to the current campaign but have since recovered well. Whilst the home record is still far from being the best, Oldham have performed very well on the road. At the time of writing, travelling fans will have enjoyed five wins and four draws with eighteen goals scored and only thirteen against.

Our home form has recovered well since Christmas with a 3-0 thumping of Carlisle United, a decent draw with in form Walsall and back to back wins over Port Vale and Cheltenham Town.  All in all we are in for an enthralling encounter tonight and another really good Memorial Stadium atmosphere.

Many minds will be fixed on a potential place in the quarter finals of this season’s FA Cup. The match with Southampton on Saturday is attracting a lot of media attention which is understandable and welcome. In the meantime, our management team and players are first rate professionals.

We have seen the results of outstanding coaching and belief in recent weeks. With the number of games coming thick and fast the preparation that goes in to our football comes into play in a big way. I am conscious that not only do the players benefit hugely from our positive support but the management team do as well. Support all round Gas; come on Rovers, come on you Blues.

Ken Masters

Commercially speaking

January has been, as expected, less busy from a merchandising point of view with a post Christmas tightening of belts apparent when reviewing the trading results of the shops for the month. This, of course, ignores the most welcome ongoing FA Cup run which has kept staff and volunteers alike busy with ticketing.

The news of the Southampton match being selected for live television is fantastic from a financial point of view with the best part of £300,000 being received for coverage rights and associated advertising alone. With the enhanced capacity for hospitality packages for this game those winning penalties against Fulham have resulted in a well earned windfall. This is even more welcome as it will assist in smoothing the cash flows concerning professional and other fees regarding the stadium regeneration.

The commercial committee are becoming more involved now with planning the move out of the stadium at the end of the season and will have to consider the logistics of moving stock, retail systems and all the associated trappings as it will soon come round. More to follow on this in due course.

Enjoy the game!   

Clive Farquhar
Commercial Committee

Stadium Regeneration – thank you

I would like to give a big thank you to all those who wrote a personal letter of support, to Bristol City Council, in respect of the revised. The latest stadium news can now be found in the stadium regeneration section of the official club website and includes a frequently asked questions section explaining the requirement to resubmit the planning application.

Share Scheme – It’s not too late

It’s not too late to join the share scheme and to help the supporters club acquire more shares.

Get you name added to those who have helped our club at the time it was needed most. Andy ‘Rambo’ Rammell did the business on the pitch but it is you the fans who made that possible through the share scheme. As we close in on our dream of a new home you support is still required. Funding the stadium until it is built is a massive commitments but ‘together we make a difference’.

If you would like to join or introduce someone else please contact Clare McDonagh at Pirate Leisure on (0117) 952 4001 [email protected] If you would simply like to now more about the scheme then please contact me:- [email protected]

Places available for Organised Juniors Matchday Parties

This scheme is for schools and organised junior teams to apply for up to 50 free matchday tickets in the Family Enclosure or subject to availability the Becks Stand or Guinness Stand. This will include for some parents to supervise them. Eagle Coaches provides a free bus within the Bristol area and will go further a field for a subsidised cost. As an example we have parties from Nailsea, Wells, Bath and from Frome and this will cost £100 so good value at £2 a head.

We have a limited number of games still available. These are Northampton on the 4th March and Huddersfield, Gillingham and Brighton.

Please get 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 please to hear from smaller parties who can make their own way to the ground.

David Brain, Director and Share Scheme Chairman,

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