News from the SC
January 29, 2009
Whilst it has been such a long time without any first team action here, a much larger than anticipated crowd witnessed a fine performance by Rovers’ under 18’s in the F.A. Youth Cup against Liverpool last Thursday week. Doubtless many people came to see the future stars of one of Europe’s top clubs but everyone must have gone away massively impressed with Billy Clark’s boys as they matched their illustrious opponents in every department except the penalty ‘shoot-out’. I cannot deny turning up expecting Liverpool to win comfortably but went home, very late that night, feeling immensely proud of the Rovers’ youngsters who gave a simply stunning performance.
I have to say it was probably the best game of competitive football played at the ground so far this season with both sides going flat out for two hours and neither deserved to lose.
The mess that Rovers’ youth policy was in just a couple of years ago worried me greatly but I have to say that the improvement under ‘Lennie & Trolls’ is now really starting to take fruit and the performance against Liverpool was proof of that. The Supporters Club ran a somewhat reduced 50/50 Draw, (proceeds now going to youth development), in the pouring rain that evening and my sincere thanks go to those committee people and volunteers who helped out. We raised another £176 towards youth development and sent a loyal ‘Gashead’ in Charlie Dye home, (or at least into the bar!), with a similar amount so it was well worthwhile. Due to my match-day commitments here I do not get the opportunity to watch Billy Clark’s impressive under 18’s but the recent couple of blank Saturdays have given me the chance to enjoy our under 16’s from Stewart Naughton’s Centre of Excellence play at both the old and new training grounds. Why not pop along on a Saturday morning before coming to the ‘Mem’ and give the lads a cheer. At the very least keep buying those 50/50 tickets and we’ll have a few more nights like last Thursday week to savour!
A warm welcome to the Supporters of Colchester United who have made the long trip from East Anglia and other parts.
Last week we were treated to a peach of a game with the FA Youth Cup 4th round tie against Liverpool. Interestingly the Liverpool management were expecting a difficult pitch mainly due to past reputation and by their own admission were pleasantly surprised to find a near perfect playing surface. The game was a treat to watch with our young guns matching their Merseyside counterparts in every department.
We gave around 1000 tickets to local schools and other youth groups and so together with ticket sales and walk in on the night a crowd of just short of two and a half thousand watched the game, a good gate for any youth fixture anywhere in the professional game. Many thanks to all who came and let us hope we attracted first timers to Bristol Rovers who will come again many times in the future and join with us in becoming established supporters of our club.
All credit to our young team made up of mostly Bristol boys up against a Liverpool squad drawn from as far away as Spain, Finland and other European countries. It was good to welcome Steve Heighway to the Mem and also Paul Ince, here to support his son who was playing in a forward position for Liverpool. All credit too to former favourite Billy Clarke for preparing the side.
Let us not forget also the number of years developing the side and for the good work put in by Stewart Naughton and his team of coaches from under 9’s to the under 16 side. I know that Stewart was well pleased with the fruits of his labours and fair play to him. The Club are very hopeful that a number of the boys will progress from the Under 18 ranks to become full time professional footballers for Bristol Rovers and pave the way for a good flow of locally developed talent in future years.
With the economic downturn showing no signs of slowing down, we have to think hard about how we operate your supporters club as a commercial concern and the management of our retail outlet at Kingswood, and stock control in particular, is central to that process. We will continue to look into offers that will benefit our members as the season progresses.
Since handing back the running of Pirate Leisure to the football club, we are naturally concentrating our efforts on Kingswood although, as has been said before, the shop will be run in very much the same way as Pirate Leisure with the full range of tickets and travel being available to members from both locations.
However, we are now taking the opportunity to canvas fans’ views to more fully understand what lines of merchandise they would like us to stock at Kingswood that we don’t already do so. With everyone’s finances being that much tighter we want to make sure we stock what the fans really want and we are open to all suggestions regarding leisurewear or souvenirs so if you have any ideas that you think would be of use please catch up with me on a matchday or drop us a line at [email protected].
Our next Quiz Night is on Thursday, February 12, at 7.30 p.m. in the Clubhouse bar. Admission only £1 per person with a maximum of five in a team.
Organised Junior Matchday Party
Support will be boosted for this match by the attendance of 20 plus Trowbridge Town Youth Year 1 (Age 5-6) players, parents and coaching staff.
The visit will be the first live match attended by many of the players, and is quite an event for them that they’ve all been really looking forward to.
The Year 1 and separate reception age group team have been running for some 18 months now under the leadership of Head Coach Chris Parker, assisted by Ashley Diiorio and Stewart Smith; all of whom have children in the team(s).
Back in the summer the Year 1 players completed a 1 mile dribble with various skills obstacles, successfully raising funds to purchase its own training aids. New goals and strip were generously donated by Tesco and EJ Shanley and Sons respectively.
[image2]December saw the Year 1 Team’s first non-competitive match against Westbury. The Trowbridge team performed excellently, with the skills learnt through the year being put into practice for the first time in Trowbridge colours. The players are all looking forward to further matches in the months ahead.
The team will all be in good voice for what will be an exciting day for them
The winning ticket of 56760 earned Charlie Dye of Yate £17 at the youth match against Liverpool. It was sold by Geoff Pike on the DAS Terrace.