Countdown to Next Match
The VSC met with the club recently and the most important point on both our agendas was our fan engagement programme 'In Rovers We Trust'. The upheaval in the summer is now out of the way, the club has a squad that looks pretty much complete, and we have appointed a Chairman to oversee all club issues. It was very encouraging from our newly appointed Chairman, David Blunt, to read that, "I'm also keen to invigorate ‘In Rovers We Trust’, and it is now time to step up our approach.
As most of you are aware IRWT has delivered a range of successful projects since the club and the VSC introduced this programme a couple of seasons ago. IRWT has received international acclaim for its broad reach and a desire to achieve results that reflect what our club values most; that is the supporters are at the heart of all that we do!
It was apparent from our meeting that we both feel the same way, that now is the right time to push forward and we have set ourselves some ambitious targets for the next few weeks. We also have some game changing ideas that will need a lot of thought and consideration and which may take some considerable time to reach fruition. But that’s for another day.
To begin with we’re covering territory that we began with all those months ago. We've agreed another survey to attempt to 'test the water' and see how people feel about their experiences as a Doncaster Rovers supporter; we'd like to emphasise the positives and then try to eliminate the negatives. When we first began we set up a couple of fan panels but they had a short shelf life, so we’d like to try that again. Furthermore we shall be looking at the events that impact on supporters and help to create a satisfactory outcome for those involved.
So, our short term aims will be:
• New IRWT Survey
o Where are we?
o What does it mean to supporters?
o What should be the priorities?
• Fan Panels
o Encourage new participants
o Match day atmosphere, what can we achieve?
o Ticket pricing and match day promotion, how can we help?
• Consultation with supporters
o Examples would be the new scoreboard
o Can we learn lessons?
o How will it benefit DRFC supporters?
o Are there issues with moving supporters and how can we resolve that?
So, some ambitious targets to get the next phase of IRWT underway. We will need the help of all supporters and all age groups. If you would really like to help then please volunteer for the fan panels. As usual we should have our friend Mark Bradley helping out with those. For supporters who attend the ‘Meet the Owners’ events you’ll recognise him as the Sunderland supporter!
Once again we are pleased that this partnership between DRFC and the VSC delivered so much the last time we set out on this journey - the club achieved promotion and a bagful of positives - let's hope for a similar outcome once again.
by Rich Colby
After what can probably be described as Rovers best performance of the season so far on Tuesday, Rovers will be looking to try and emulate their away form at home for the visit of Oldham Athletic.
After changing the side up a little bit against Watford, Paul Dickov officially has a selection headache. But for once its a good one; Harry Forrester has now completed his 3 game suspension and is available for selection, Rob Jones and Jamie McCombe are also possibly available along with the biggest surprise of Tuesday night in Richie Wellens.
Wellens and Paul Dickov appear to have built bridges over the last week, and the influential midfielder has been rewarded with a new 2 year contract. Another man who has earned a fully deserved 3 year deal is Paul Keegan.
Oldham Athletic come into the game still looking for their first win of the season after last weekends defeat to Preston North End. Rovers will need to be on guard to stop former employee Jonathan Forte getting on the score sheet. Having already netted 3 times this season he is my man to watch for them.
Paul Dickov will demand Rovers don't rest on their laurels against his former team. He'll be looking for the full 3 points from this one before a 2 week break due the international weekend at the beginning of September. Hopefully, come 5pm, Rovers will be occupying a place in the top 6 of the league table.
Come on you reds!
Overall Record Vs Oldham Athletic: P 37 / W 16 / D 14 / L 7
by Rich Colby
After another away win in the league on Saturday, Rovers are on the road again this evening when they visit Watford at Vicarage Road in the Capital One Cup.
Rovers have failed to concede a goal away from home so far this season and will be hoping to keep that run going tonight. But they'll have their work cut out to stop the Watford hitmen, who have netted 10 goals from their first 5 games of the season.
Both teams will go into the game full of confidence after victories at the weekend; Rovers winning 1-0 at Colchester and Watford cruising to a 4-1 win against Leeds. My man to watch for them will be striker Troy Deeney, a player who you can never afford to take your eye off in and around the box.
Rovers will still have absentees in Curtis Main, Rob Jones and Harry Forrester who serves the final game of his suspension. I expect Paul Dickov to change it up a bit tonight and save one or two for the Oldham game on Saturday. A cup run is always good, but it wont be a priority for Paul Dickov's men.
Rovers can go out any enjoy the game tonight without any pressure, but Dickov will still demand a performance.
Come on you reds!
Overall Record vs Watford:
P 21 / W 6 / D 6 / L 9
After a hard fought draw on Tuesday evening, Rovers are back on the road with a trip to Colchester United's Weston Homes Community Stadium.
Rovers last visit to Colchester's newly built ground in September 2012 ended in a 2-1 victory and Paul Dickov's men will be looking for victory again after a mixed start to the season. Excellent against Yeovil, poor against Port Vale, hard working and determined against Preston has yielded 4 points from our first 3 games.
Colchester will be looking to get back to home comforts after a bad start to their season. Their solitary point came in the first game of the season at home to Oldham Athletic and has since been followed by 3 successive defeats, firstly in the Carling Cup, then league defeats on the road by Bristol City and Notts County. Colchester will be no pushovers though and my man to watch for them will be striker Freddie Sears. The former West Ham United mad has already netted once this season, and will be looking for more this weekend.
If Rovers are to be victorious in Essex this weekend it will have to come without key man Harry Forrester. A failed appeal to the FA means Forrester will serve the second game of his 3 match suspension. Also missing will be striker Curtis Main (Knee) and inspirational leader Rob Jones is likely to be out too. Jones was forced off early on Tuesday night on medical advice after a re-occurrence of a neck injury.
Reece Wabara is likely to deputise at centre-back and expect Liam Wakefield to come in at right-back for Rovers. Rovers have said goodbye to Paul Quinn this week after 2 years at the club. There is certainly competition for places going forward for Rovers. Nathan Tyson will be pushing for a start following his goal after coming on as sub on Tuesday evening.
So heres hoping Rovers can take full advantage of Colchesters bad start with another 3 points in Essex.
Come on you reds!
Prediction: Colchester 1-2 Rovers
Following yesterday's announcement from DRFC that David Blunt and Dick Watson have agreed to become Chairman and
President of the club the VSC would like to welcome them respectively to these positions, state that we are looking
forward to working alongside them and wish them all the best in these roles moving into the future.