20th April 2013 Accrington Stanley
April 20, 2013
FROM SC CHAIRMAN
I AM PENNING THESE NOTES FOR THE FINAL HOME GAME OF THIS AMAZING SEASON BEFORE OUR TWO LONG TRIPS TO BRADFORD AND SOUTHEND SO THAT I CAN TAKE IN A SHORT BREAK IN LONDON, ONE THAT WILL OF COURSE ENCOMPASS ANOTHER VISIT TO ROOTS HALL! Therefore I am writing on the back of another hard fought home win over relegation threatened Wimbledon and immediately after a very long Supporters Club Committee Meeting, of which more anon!
A year ago, like just about everyone around Bristol Rovers at the time I guess, I felt much like I do today – grateful that our latest highly respected manager had turned things round from a dark and gloomy place that had been Christmas into a finishing position full of relief and optimism.
However, whilst Mark McGhee had indeed transformed a struggling team to a position of safety it turned out to be a false dawn as his good early work, including a fine unbeaten home record, was not built on during the summer months and what seemed to me a totally unprepared hotch potch of a team completely failed to get going despite a generous playing budget.
Bottom of the entire Football League again and re-enter John Ward – Never go back they say! To be writing here today, just three months later, with Rovers actually having a chance of gaining promotion again through the play offs is nothing short of a minor miracle. A sprinkling of new faces, mainly through the vital ‘spine’ of the team, added to a resurgent squad who actually seem to know what they have to do in positions they are comfortable with has completely transformed our prospects. Not only that but members of our brilliantly successful Youth Team, sponsored of course by you great fans through the Supporters Club’s 50/50 half-time draw, have started to make regular appearances in the first team after being somewhat overlooked by both previous managers.
It may all end ‘as you were’ of course but even that is a great relief after what could and probably would have happened had John not retaken the reins.
The Youth team may have won the South West Alliance and the Alliance Cup Final at Carlisle by the time you read this but the worst they can do is finish runners up in both competitions. It has been a brilliant second half of the season whatever happens in these final couple of weeks!
So, today is your opportunity to
salute everyone concerned and you will be aware that we had intended to hold our annual awards presentation in the Clubhouse this evening. However, at that extended Committee Meeting I mentioned earlier, we took the view suggested by a number of you, I must say, that it would be so packed as to be completely impractical and so, subject to agreement with the Board and Manager, we shall now present our trophies on the pitch this afternoon. This will require all of you to remain in your seats or behind the barriers after the match and patiently await the return onto the pitch of those who have worked so hard to turn this great club around. I’m sure that we will all enjoy a great celebration if everyone co-operates!
Through my own close contacts with the Football Club, mainly of course through the great work of the Supporters Club’s two elected Directors, Ken Masters and Brian Seymour Smith, I am aware that the Manager and Board are determined the forthcoming summer months will not be ‘lost’ as they were last year and that a proper promotion bid is on the agenda if the ‘miracle’ does not quite come off this time round. With a fantastic new stadium less than a couple of years away now this will be music to the ears of every Rovers’ supporter and I’m sure that a third consecutive ‘August of anticipation’ will indeed be a reality next time round!
Finally, my sincere thanks to all my Committee colleagues and our great band of volunteer sellers and helpers who brave all winds and weathers to help the Club for no financial reward. Thanks also to you great fans who continue to impress with noise and numbers all over the country in support of the team. Enjoy a great final day at the Mem, a lovely trip to the seaside next Saturday, have a relaxing summer and see you all for the big push in August.
Up the Pirates!
A BIG THANK YOU
TO ALL OF OUR PIRATE VOLUNTEERS FOR SELLING COPIES OF THE ‘PIRATE’, 50/50 TICKETS ET AL; YOU ARE CREDIT TO OUR FOOTBALL CLUB.
CONGRATULATIONS TO CHRIS PRICE, THE LATEST SHARE SCHEME MEMBER TO WIN A SIGNED SHIRT.
The lucky number was drawn out at half time of the York City game on March 30th. Thank you again to all Share Scheme members for your much appreciated contributions. Members will be enjoying a pre match hospitality package in the Dribuild Suite today; please enjoy and thank you.
Alan Salter receives his 50/50 winnings at the Wimbledon game from Jim Chappell watched by Bristol boxer Lee Haskins and boxiing promoter Chris Sanigar
Alan Salter was the lucky 50/50 half time draw winner at the AFC Wimbledon game on April 6th. Alan comes from Stoke Gifford and bought the winning ticket from Ian Brain in the main stadium car park. The winning ticket was number 37477 and the prize was a monster £1.001; very nice for a Saturday night or for something special. Well done to Alan and many thanks to Ian.
THE YOUTH ALLIANCE SOUTHERN AREA CUP FINAL PRESENTED AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ANOTHER 50/50 DRAW.
The game was held at the Mem on the 3rd April and produced a very useful little prize of £85; ticket number 39036. The winner was ‘Prod’ from Watford who made the trip to the West Country to followlWatford’s U-18’s, fair play. Thank you to Phil Draper for selling the ticket in the J&G West Stand.
Bristol Rovers Supporters Club are proud to be sponsors of :Bristol Rovers Youth Academy and are pleased to congratulate Academy players and coaches for a highly successful season: bodes well for the future of Bristol Rovers Football Club.
WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO A GOOD COMPETITIVE GAME OF FOOTBALL THIS AFTERNOON FOR OUR FINAL HOME GAME OF THE SEASON.
Although looking safe, Accrington will obviously hope io get something out of today’s match in order to assure their Football League status next season. Our aim is to finish as high as possible, so we both have everything to play for! With this being the last game, I wanted to take this opportunity to ‘thank you’ all for your contributions and suggestions either on our forum, on other forums, on twitter, on Facebook or simply by contacting me direct. Without doubt, your suggestions have had an impact on the way we do our business as we take your suggestions on board. This includes pricing, catering, invitations to former players and other activities which add to your matchday experience. This is possibly the most exciting time in the history of our club. The new stadium, together with a great deal of excitement about our prospects for next season, it promises to be a busy summer. I wish to reassure you that despite the summer break I remain contactable and will always try to get back to you when I can. May I wish you a very happy summer holiday and see you either at the Fun Day or pre season friendlies.
Enjoy the match and UTG!
Brian Seymour-Smith, Director