Sprout is back!!!
Hi and welcome to a Summer (although it`s more like Winter outside) edition of Something for the Weekend. I had a word with the boss and this was originally going to be a Euro 2012 focused ‘special edition` however certain things prevent me from doing that, but you might be able to check out Vital England for that sort of content. Not to fear though as in the few weeks since the end of the season there have been a few happenings at Rovers worth a mention and I am sure I will give the Euros a brief stroke of my keyboard.
So in the world of The Gas, the retained list was released and I don`t think there were many surprises to anyone. I wish all of those who have left good luck in the future, but a special mention goes out to Byron Anthony for his service under the club. Now I know Byro will always get a mixed response to his ability on the pitch, but I don`t believe many can fault his effort. He always gave 100% on the pitch in my view and we should always remember that no matter what. Personally when Byron first signed he looked like a great prospect, but (and this is just me) I never think he really recovered from the injury he got at Walsall all those years ago.
Away from people leaving it seems Mark McGhee is going to be backed in the transfer market as we have apparently had two bids rejected for Oxford striker James Constable. I think Constable would have been a decent signing for us. A sizey, mobile striker with an okay record in front of goal, although I am not sure he would have been worth the figures I heard/saw banded about. I know Constable was recommended to Rovers during his Chippenham days before he made the move into the football league, and the local non-league scene is something we really have to tap into and pick up potential players who could make the grade and even those that have dropped down and might be ready to jump back up.
On this note it appears Mr McGhee has been looking at young Yate Town player Rob Nicholls and has apparently invited him along for pre-season training. However it appears he could be headed to America on a Scholarship. Anyone who follows American Sports (and I must say I love the NFL) will probably know how big a deal a sports (or indeed any) scholarship is in the States. The Chance to go through what is essentially your University education paid for with top facilities and the chance to play in front of thousands must be tempting indeed. If Mark McGhee is after this young lad then I hope his sell job is good, because he knows how good an offer the U.S.A will be for young Mr Nicholls with the U.S college system something he himself recommended to Charlie Reece when he was giving him the news he was being released.
Early on it looks like it could be an active summer for the Rovers boss as he looks to strengthen the squad and it looks as though we are looking at all quarters for potential signings which can only be a good thing. A good mix of players as well as a good work effort is what we will require to get us out of league two, which is what I was saying 12 months ago but for reasons we all know that didn`t quite work out, but the signs were there under Mark McGhee that we could be getting their with a few decent additions.
Away from Rovers, as I write I am currently watching a bit of England training whilst trying to finish this and I must say I am starting to look forward to Euro 2012 now it`s here. Despite the fuss kicked up over various things it`s nice to see people expect dismal failure and perhaps not getting too worked up over England`s chances. Maybe that can be channelled into a positive tournament for a change. There would have been a time when I would have made an effort to watch pretty much every game in the tournament, but I don`t think that will wash with the girlfriend. I have managed to warn her I will be watching the first game this Friday in return for watching something of her choice after. I am just praying she doesn`t pick The Proposal or some such chick flick with Ryan Reynolds in it.
Not sure when I will pop up again. Maybe in a few weeks when Rovers unveil a few new signings and maybe some more news on the stadium/Sainsbury`s front. I hope you enjoy the summer if we actually get one and enjoy the Euros as England storm to victory on the back of hard work and determination, under Roy Hodgson
UTG! And Come on England!
Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips