Jim’s Jottings part 2

This is a new feature in the Supporters Club’s pages that is designed to show what we are doing to help the Football Club develop its own players for the future. We have in fact been doing this for many years thanks to the 50/50 Draw and other initiatives but there are still some fans who really do not know what goes on behind the scenes despite Ken and my somewhat prolific writings on the subject over those many seasons!

Last season the Supporters Club pumped no less than £45,000, including the purchase of a new minibus (pictured), into Rovers’ Youth and Development squads and we felt richly rewarded with the Under-23 team winning the Central League in their debut season – a fantastic achievement for a collection of players who didn’t even know each other on that first team-bus trip to Corinthian Casuals just thirteen months ago! That game resulted in a heavy defeat but things have certainly changed now under the expert guidance of managers Chris Hargreaves and Brian Dutton and last Friday the lads won a hard-fought encounter at newly promoted Salisbury. The squad that evening included another great product from our Under-18 side in the shape of James ‘Woody’ Spruce who was nominated by Academy Manager Jamie Henderson as our Youth Team Player of the Year. Unfortunately the Under-18’s were playing on the day of our presentations and James was unable to receive his trophy then so we are hoping that Ken can present him at half-time today instead.

Luke Russe highlighted the path that ‘Woody’ is taking now by winning the previous Youth Player trophy and followed up by winning the ‘Young Player’ award last April – and look where he is now – a member of Darrell’s first team squad. Give James a great round of applause and keep buying those tickets!

Jim Chappell.