July 29, 2014
Bristol Rovers’ first ever Football Conference season looms ever nearer and only one more pre-season ‘friendly’ remains, to be played, at home to a Coventry City side on Friday. Our manager Darrell Clarke has already advised supporters not to read anything into his selection for that match and I am wondering how the side, still being assembled at the time of writing, will be able to gel together in time for a difficult opening match against Grimsby Town just eight days later.
Not that I don’t have any faith in Darrell; exactly the opposite in fact. It’s just that as supporters we really have no idea what the final line-up will be. I have been to all the pre-season matches played to date and it has been a complete ‘hotchpotch’ of games with trialists putting their case for selection in teams of varying strengths, thanks partly to injuries and illness to senior players.
The nearest thing to a ‘first team’ was put out at Whaddon Road against Gloucester City and a worrying lack of goals in the previous games suddenly got turned on its head with four scored and three rather bad ones conceded in a mad but entertaining second half! Even in that game we fielded three lads on trial and all played well in my humble opinion.
However, Romuald Boco is not being signed and Ryan Higgins, who has impressed to date seems to have been usurped by the signing of Daniel Leadbitter. I suppose if we supporters have no idea what the final line-up will be then Grimsby should be totally confused. Let’s hope so!