April 23, 2019
I hope you all have had a great Easter break so far, including of course a successful trip to Kingston on Thames last Friday with three more points on offer to Rovers – this column having to be written the previous weekend, immediately on the back of our last home game against bottom of the table Bradford City. What a close call that turned out to be with, almost inevitably, John Clarke-Harris striking another supurb winner in added time. Another two more goals for him, (what a fantastic signing), and what would also have been a ‘Goal of the Season’ contender from Ollie Clarke winning us three more vital points.
It is that time of the year again when the awards are being considered and, in Rovers case, that has already happened with the Club’s own official prizes given out at Bristol’s Harbourside back on the 10th April. Sincere congratulations are due to the winners that night with Bristolians Ollie Clarke, Alfie Kilgour and Tom Mehew being chosen by their team-mates as our top player, top Development player and Youth Academy player respectively. How great that they are all local lads that have come up through the Supporters Club-sponsored youth and academy schemes. Well done also to John Kayes who won the Supporter of the Year at the same event. I’m sure John will be helping us out again today as usual at every home game in the Supporters Bar and on the 50/50 Draw.
I understand that the Presidents Club will be giving out their awards before the game today and I’m sure that all the aforementioned players will feature again amongst the silverware. So what about the Supporters Club’s awards? The Committee spent quite some time considering these at our last meeting and we have voting slips available in our bar and in our Matchday Cabin this afternoon. These will be for our Player of the Year and Goal of the Season, the latter I’m sure likely to be won by the Football Club’s choice, Johnson Clarke-Harris, simply because he has scored so many fantastic goals already in his short time with Rovers. It’s your choice anyway! As for the presentation of the trophies the Committee has decided to hold back for the time being. The Supporters Club has been awarding these trophies since 1982 when an earlier product of our Youth system, David Williams, was the first recipient of the old shield that was superceded last season by the Geoff Dunford Memorial Shield. That was awarded to Ellis Harrison, another player to have come all the way up through Rovers youth ranks. To be honest the hurridly arranged ‘awards evening’ in the Supporters Club bar immediately after the last match of the season was more than a little chaotic and the Committee are anxious not to have a repeat this time round.
Also the last home game on May 4th could have incredibly important relegation and promotion issues resting on the result so we have decided to leave the awards in abeyance and we will do something when we know exactly where we are come the end of the campaign. Meantime please get your votes in, either on the paper slips today or on our website. Much more important things are happening out on the pitch this afternoon so let’s have plenty of noise for the boys in blue!