News from the SC

January 25, 2010

From the chair

If you are actually reading this column on the day for that which is intended, Saturday 23rd January, then all I can say is ‘Hallelujah’ and a very belated ‘happy new year’ to everyone attending a long awaited return to the Memorial Stadium today – our first game here since that fine victory over local play-off rivals Swindon Town over five weeks ago! The postponement of our scheduled Boxing Day fixture against Walsall was a big blow as it left us ‘Gasheads’ without a home match throughout the festive period and that was followed by the subsequent Stockport County game also falling victim to the big freeze here. Consequently there has been a ‘big freeze’ in both the Football Club’s income and that of the Supporters Club as well. With Rovers out of the FA Cup as well we were left with a big hole in the fixture list at a time when every true football fan relishes an afternoon on the terrace or in the stand. For various understandable reasons we did not take the opportunity to switch our away game at Exeter, scheduled for Tuesday 23rd February, to 3rd round Cup day when travel would have been so much easier and consequently there would have been much better support for the team. However, with the freezing weather as bad as it has been locally, that would probably have fallen victim to the frost as well so it was probably the right decision. Certainly the Memorial Stadium was in no fit state when I arrived for the Boxing Day morning pitch inspection and it came as no surprise to me that both the two home games were called off. That left the Supporters Club with our long overdue Christmas Draw still outstanding so the decision was taken to hold it here in the Pirate Leisure shop midweek and thanks are due to Pete Aitken for making the draw on our behalf. A full list of the lucky winners are published alongside in case you have been unable to access our website in the last week or so. Thanks also to everyone who took part by sending in your stubs – there being no matches for you to bring them along to!

It’s not been a good time on the road recently with seven consecutive defeats before our very difficult Tuesday night trip to Huddersfield and a very late postponement last Saturday at Orient. I’ll have more to say on this next Saturday. Meantime, enjoy a match at the ‘Mem’ at long last!

Jim Chappell

BRSC Chairman.

Cold Snap to Big Freeze

Good afternoon and a very warm welcome at last to the Memorial Stadium for a game of League football; a happy New Year to all. It does seem to have been a very long time since our emphatic 3-0 home win over West Country neighbours and rivals Swindon Town in early to mid December. 

The cold snap that we experienced over the Christmas period and into the New Year became something of a big freeze.  It was very disappointing not to play on Boxing Day. The traditional fixture usually produces higher than average attendances and a festive atmosphere. It was a shame for Rovers fans and for Walsall fans to have missed out this time around.

It was also disappointing for the Football Club and for our fans to miss out on Saturday fixtures against Stockport County and Leyton Orient. For all football clubs up and down the country, cash flow has been a major problem over the past weeks of. The Supporter’s Club are pleased to have further supported the Youth set up with funding over the past couple of weeks.

Pete Prior and his grounds team work very hard here and we all agree just how much the playing surface has improved. The new drainage system is designed to take rain and spring water away. When it comes to severe frost it is a different story. I am told that frost covers can do well for 24 hours or so but a more prolonged period of sub zero temperatures would mean a more extensive period of pitch covering which in turn would damage the grass.

When we go away the situation is not in our hands of course. The grounds staff at Leyton Orient worked very hard too and did their utmost to get the game on last week. Deep snow had been removed from the playing surface but the ground was inevitably very wet in the aftermath. I arrived at Brisbane Road around 12 noon and although the surface looked decent at that time, it was obvious that if the forecast heavy rain materialised the game would be in serious doubt.  The rain came soon afterwards and within half an hour the surface was water logged all along one side of the pitch and in the goal mouths.

Unlike the Mem there are no drains under the surface at Brisbane Road. I rang the Supporter’s Club coach as soon as I knew the game had been called but sadly the coach was only about five minutes from the ground. We were all put out. The players were aching to play and a strong following of Gas were already in the vicinity.

Playing conditions and postponements seem to worsen the lower down the leagues you go; must be down to finance and resources for sure.  In my non league playing days we played in ankle deep mud one week and snow or an icy surface the next. Come to think of it the boys at Eastville at the time did the same!

 Not so these days as we all want to see football played on the best surface possible. Not only to play but to train and prepare for games as well. Then there are the health and safety issues that seem to many to go over the top somewhat in this day and age. A lot has gone on behind the scenes here at Bristol Rovers over the past year or two to ensure that football is possible after and even during adverse weather conditions.  We miss very few games as a result but surely the sub zero temperatures and snowy conditions that we have seen of late are rather the exception than the norm in a British winter, particularly in our part of the world.

Let’s hope all is well today as we welcome  supporters of the Pools who have made it all the way down from the North East to be with us for this fixture; all good wishes for the very long trek back up North after the game. Thank you for being with us today. It’s been a fair few weeks Gas so come on you Pirates; right behind them, together we can.

Ken Masters

BRSC director.

 

Christmas Draw

Mr J. Pine of Sea Mills won the £1,000 first prize with ticket number 004565. The draw traditionally takes place on the pitch at half-time of a game during our Christmas programme. But with our last two home matches being postponed the draw was made in the Pirate Leisure shop last week by Rovers’ community officer Peter Aitken.

The other winners were: £250: D. McQuaid; £100: H. Wigmore; Two £50 winners: G. Pike and D. Andrews; Four £25 winners: Mrs J. Pullin, D. Green, H. Hulbert and Mrs D. Reed; Ten £10 winners: N. Bateman, B. Abraham, H. Wigmore, M. Wheeler, P. Aldous, D. Purvis, J. Watts, J. Addy, A. Quinlan and S. Wiltshire.

 

Leyton Orient Away

The game at Leyton Orient has been rearranged for Tuesday, February 2 (7.45pm). Coaches will depart from Kingswood at 2.30pm, Eastville 2.45pm and Horfield 3pm. Coach fare £18 and tickets in advance are adults £20, students, u18’s and 65+ £13 or pay on the day.

 Share Scheme News

 

I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year on celebrations. Once again a special thanks also to all Share Scheme Members past and present for your support. With the enforced break due to the weather I am sure you will be desperate to see some games and hopefully by the time you are reading these notes we will have secured our first points of 2010 away at Huddersfield last Tuesday.

 

Below is the summary of the current share scheme position to December 2009:-

·             Contributions received totaled £4,429 from 308 members

·             Cumulative members’ contributions received from commencement   of the Scheme totaled £823,745

·             Supporters Club total holding at 30th November 2009 was 372,440

·             Total no. of issued ordinary shares in BRFC (1883) Ltd  at 31st  December 2009 was 4,909,887

·             Percentage holding by the Supporters Club was 7.59%

Can I remind members those entitled to matchday meals (and any of the other benefits) that these need to be booked through Clare McDonagh at Pirate Leisure during office hours on (0117) 909 6648 or e-mail to [email protected]  Any members unsure of their entitlement can contact Clare for further advice.
After today there are two remaining matches that have been designated for meals for those entitled:-

Tuesday 2nd

March 2010

– Stockport

Saturday 13th

March 2010

– Tranmere</p>

 

 

Share Scheme Signed Shirt Draw

 

Today we will be presenting Paul Robinson with the signed shirt he won in the draw at the Swindon game on Saturday 12st December.

 

Organised Juniors Matchday Parties

 

Today we welcome pupils, aged 8 to 11, from the football teams at St. Matthias and Dr Bell’s Primary School, Fishponds.
They are an enthusiastic group who enjoy competing with other primary schools in the area and are hoping to see some amazing goals, with a great home win for Rovers!
 
All games have now been booked until the end of the season. If you would like to be added to the reserve list please get your applications to [email protected] or (07765) 254110.

 

David Brain,

Director and Share Scheme Chairman.

[email protected]net

 

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