19th February 2013 Rotherham United
February 20, 2013
This game was postponed from 22nd December 2012.
Chairman Nick Higgs, who kindly donated his 50/50 winnings to the Youth Department
FROM SC CHAIRMAN
THOSE OF US WHO MADE THE LONG TRIP UP TO YORK WERE, FRANKLY, NOT EXPECTING TOO MUCH CONSIDERING ROVERS’ MISERABLE RECENT AWAY FORM.
What we got though was probably more than many were expecting when Mark McGhee was dismissed immediately following another debacle when yet one more average team beat us. Quite how such a highly qualified manager, an international footballer who has played and managed in Europe and won three promotions with different clubs, could fail so spectacularly with Rovers is a mystery.
As Chairman Nick Higgs said, sometimes these things just don’t work out. It was not for the want of trying as I know how many hours Mark put in for us and it is a real shame that such a nice guy, highly respected in the game, could not make it work for us. There is never a good time to dismiss a man from his job and just before Christmas is surely one of the worst times but, there is no doubt that from Rovers’ point of view it just had to be now! With the much maligned January transfer window soon to open and many of our players coming to the end of short term and loan agreements, the Board has taken the difficult decision at precisely the right time. So, it is out with one highly respected Manager and in with another in the shape of our old friend John Ward who has achieved much in past times. I’m sure every Rover’s supporter will join me in welcoming John back and I’m equally sure that you will give him a great reception when he treads across the Memorial Stadium pitch this afternoon.
John has openly acknowledged what a difficult challenge faces him on his return to Rovers’ dugout with his adopted team entrenched in the relegation zone and seemingly totally lacking in confidence. I feel though, that, with some better organisation of the team, coupled perhaps with a couple of new faces next month, we can escape the most dreaded of all ‘drops’ —that into non league. Obviously that is the prime and most urgent requirement facing John but I hope that, in the medium to long term, more use will be made of our outstanding youth team prospects, several of whom have been ‘warming the bench’ this season. I fully realise that you cannot throw a load of youngsters into a relegation battle but Ken Masters and I are regular attendees at our Youth games so we know that more than a couple are well worth their chance. The Supporters Club is proud to sponsor Rovers’ Youth through the 50/50 Draw to which so many of you contribute every matchday.
The team has lost only once in 18 games, lead the South West Alliance, (runners up last season), and are through to the fourth round of the F.A. Youth Cup. They must be our future and I’m sure that the manager will give them a chance.
A very difficult game is in prospect for John and his charges this afternoon, so get right behind those famous quarters and let’s get some points on the board. Suddenly Christmas in Horfield seems to be much more festive so I wish you all a very Merry Holiday and a Happy and Prosperous New Year!
Up the Pirates!
50/50 TICKET WINNER
WELL DONE TO NICK HIGGS WHO WAS DRAWN OUT AS THE LUCKY WINNER AT HALF TIME IN THE HOME GAME AGAINST DAGENHAM AND REDBRIDGE, The winning ticket number was 12673 and sold to Nick by Supporters Club treasurer Sandra Jaques in Box 1. The prize was princely sum of £704; compare this to the half time prize draw sum won by spectators at grounds around League Two! Something tel me that this is not the first time that Nick has bought the winninG 50/50 ticket at home games. Let’s hope the luck spills out on to pitch today and for the remainder of the season.
The same sum of £704 was donated to Bristol Rovers Youth. At the time of writing the U-18’s have lost only one game out of 18 in all competitions so far this season and there is exciting talent coming through in all age groups.
The current Youth set up has been in place for a very short time since the days of the links with Filton College. We are sure that the first team will benefit greatly in the seasons to come. Once again Nick has turned down the winnings and donated his prize the Youth Fund and so the total donation from the Daggers game was very healthy £1408. Thank you to Nick and thank you to all ticket buyers.
AT THIS TIME OF YEAR WE TAKE THE OPPORTUNITY TO THANK THE GREAT NUMBER OF VOLUNTEERS WHO GIVE UP THEIR TIME AND IN SOME CASES MOST OF THE FIRST HALF ON MATCH DAYS BY SELLING COPIES OF’THE PIRATE’, 50/50
PRIZE DRAW TICKETS, STAFFING THE SUPPORTERS CLUB CABIN, PIRATE LEISURE, MATCHDAY TICKET OFFICE AND UNDERTAKING MANY OTHER TASKS AROUND THE MEMORIAL STADIUM.
A great many thanks to all; any measure of work is so very much appreciated.
SHARE SCHEME HOSPITALITY
A VERY GOOD NUMBER OF SHARE SCHEME MEMBERS ARE ENJOYING HOSPITALITY IN THE DRIBUILD SUITE THIS EVENING.
The funds are as vital now as they were at the beginning of the scheme. On behalf of the Supporters Club and the Football Club a very big thank you to all subscribers past and present and thank you to Clare McDonagh for administering the scheme and arranging all of the members hospitality from early season until today.