Ryan On The Record: We have to keep raising the bar

editorial image

THERE are changes afoot at the Keepmoat Stadium and also down at our Cantley Park training ground.

It is imperative we ensure that Cantley Park is always on the upgrade.

The training ground at any club is a great selling point to attract a quality player to the club.

I know from feedback from Dean Saunders that this season’s new signings are more than happy with the facility and long may that continue.

But, as in any business, we do not want to stand still and are always on the lookout to improve things.

There will also be work going on in the concourses around the Keepmoat to improve the bars and catering outlets.

While the attendances are not what we would like to see, and money is tight for ourselves and for you fans, we do feel that we must update and make sure that we are ready for when those attendances climb again.

In the 14 years that I have been associated for a second term at Rovers this is something that we have always attempted to do.

I have been asked why do all this when you are only getting at best 6,000 fans?

I think I have answered it by saying we must always be looking to improve everything about Doncaster Rovers FC - the team, the training ground and now the stadium.

It was a great innovation to re-open the Lakeside Bar and re-name it the Belle Vue Bar after our old ground, which holds so many memories for us all.

My colleagues and I, including chief executive Gavin Baldwin, are always open to ideas from supporters who have constructive suggestions or can help in anyway.

This club of ours is very much one for the town and its citizens.

That is why we want you all to think about the Keepmoat Stadium for any functions that you may want to hold.

The stadium is not just for football with both ourselves and the Doncaster Rovers Belles, but also rugby league and all the other sports that now form part of our community brand.

Back to the football and Tuesday night was a great disappointment but we did miss our wide boys and their goalkeeper Alan Martin played a blinder in the second half.

Had we got that goal from the Paul Keegan shot that hit the bar then I feel sure we would have seen a comeback along the lines of Brentford.

We also missed our big man at the back Rob Jones who, despite a lump the size of an egg on his head, did want to stay on.

The medics thought otherwise and we lost our charismatic leader.

Crewe, to be fair, played some nice football and their Premier Division loanees certainly helped their cause.

That’s not the true trait of Crewe Alexandra’s ethos.

They have been known for decades to just bring their own players through from a tremendous academy and not take players on loan.

On Saturday, we dust ourselves down and start all over again to set about on another unbeaten streak to ensure we stay in those play-off places.

We don’t become a bad team overnight and I feel the lads will really lift themselves on Saturday when taking on Eddie Howe’s rejuvenated Bournemouth.

They have spent a fortune of late to get a team for their former manager Eddie Howe to coach, on top of a reported £1.4 million compensation payment to Burnley for his services.

This is a division in which any team can beat anybody else.

Just take a look at Tuesday’s results, including our own.

I say it week in week out but I’d really like you to come to the Keepmoat on Saturday and support the lads.

I certainly hope we see a lot more there than we did on Tuesday.

n You can bid for a very special piece of Doncaster Rovers memorabilia next week - if you join me at Billy Sharp’s LJS Foundation dinner at the Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday.

Alick Jeffrey’s Under 23 England cap will be going under the hammer to raise money for this very worthwhile cause.

Tickets to the dinner cost £40 and are available by calling the commercial department on 01302 764665 or emailing commercial@doncasterroversfc.co.uk

Rovers Till I Die

John Ryan