Sprout is back!!
Hi all, welcome to series 2 episode one of something for the weekend, I hope you have had or having a good summer (what we`ve had of it anyway) and are raring to go for the start of the football league season. I was hoping to have done a couple of these during the summer but in all honesty I was getting caught up in the Olympics and was happy to just forget about football and Rovers and let it go about its business. Not a bad thing I don`t think having a break and not hearing advert after advert for The Premier League and the new season ahead and actually looking forward to the new season instead of perhaps being suffocated before it even starts with endless Sky Sports News ‘stories`.
So the summer has been pretty eventful at BRFC with some signings, departures, signings that have departed and some business hopefully to be completed to soon. To start with a departure Muzzy Carayol has left which was almost inevitable really. He had a good finish to the season and I think it was always going to be sooner rather than later that he went. Hopefully we have received a decent price which can be used to help strengthen the squad and cover some losses.
On the signings front Gary Kenneth and David Clarkson look decent and interesting signings given the levels they have come from, although there does seem to be some injuries and fitness doubts for both, at least in the short term. Fabien Broghammer is awaiting international clearance (hopefully in time for Saturday`s game) and looks to be a replacement of sorts for Muzzy. Seanan Clucas and Oliver Norburn have joined in midfield along with Matt Lund on loan and we have also added Sam Walker in goal for 6 months at least to cover Scott Bevan`s injury. With Craig Stanley, Chris Zebroski and a few others at the end of last season having left a fair amount of business has been done and it will be interesting to see how this evolved squad with some younger blood fares during the upcoming season. There also seems to be some business that is yet to be concluded with a few new faces to come in to beef the squad up a bit.
One disappointment was the signing/departure of Faroe Islands International Rogvi Baldvinsson, I and many others were looking forward to seeing him play and develop having joined from Norwegian amateur football, but for whatever reason (that doesn`t really matter) it hasn`t quite worked out and he has returned to Norway. I wish him all the best in wherever his career takes him.
As much as the Football League season starts Saturday, the season has already kicked off with the Capital One Cup (or at least that`s what I believe it`s called this year) and we have maybe predictably been knocked out in the first round by Ipswich Town. Having read a few reports and seen the highlights it seems we did okay given the circumstances and when a few players return from injury and others get a bit fitter, coupled with a few additions we will see the ‘real` Rovers come together in the first few weeks of the league. Sam Walker apparently did okay given he joined at the last minute and only met up with the team at the game and Michael Smith`s goal was a cracker. By all accounts Smithy has had a good pre-season and seems to have carried that into the first game at least; with Danny Woodard`s injury this is his chance to impress and cement his place in the team. Personally I wouldn`t mind seeing him at Right midfield when Danny is fit, as he likes to get forward and that could make a decent right hand side.
This Saturday sees us host Oxford in the first league match and will be the first opportunity for most of us to see the new look team in action for the first time. The game has been made slightly more interesting with the chase for Oxford striker James Constable. From the sounds of it we have put in a final offer but it remains to be seen what will happen before, after (or maybe even during) the upcoming match with this potential transfer. I am not sure he is worth the money that has been reported Oxford were after/Rovers have offered but if Mark McGhee thinks he is the right man, then I back him. I certainly have more faith in Mr McGhee then other previous managers when it comes to chasing transfer targets and getting the right players.
I am really starting to look forward to the season now, and writing this has got the blood flowing and hopefully we can start the league with three points, but I will always happily take a draw first game. I hope you are all ready to cheer on the boys.
Up The Gas!
Simon ‘Sprout` Phillips