All posts by Neil Taylor

It wasn’t Main(t) to be.

Dearest Curtis,

I’ve wrote this letter in my head so many times this season but finally putting in on paper has helped me make up my mind. It’s time to call it a day on our relationship. I’ll move on (probably to Andy Williams) and it seems you’ve already moved on to Oldham. I’ll always have a special place in my heart for you. At times, our relationship felt like it was the best thing that had ever happened to me, that goal at Bradford will live on in my heart forever but lately everything has felt wrong, mostly your inability to force your way back into the squad in front of Lynden Gooch, that felt all sorts of wrong.

Curtis Main letter

I’m sure that this isn’t a surprise to you, when our eyes met just few short weeks ago at Fleetwood, as you spent a fruitless 90 minutes warming up for the call that would never come, it seemed like a metaphor for all that had gone wrong between us, you the handsome and underused footballing genius, me the fat, balding, thirty something lorry driver cast adrift at a grotty seaside shanty town:

Trudging slowly over wet sand
Back to the bench where your clothes were stolen
This is the coastal town
That they forgot to close down
Armageddon, come Armageddon!
Come, Armageddon! Come!

Everyday is like Sunday
Everyday is silent and grey

I take a little solace that we’ve had a good 18 months, when everyone of my so called friends only gave us weeks. From the moment I saw your marauding up and down the pitch at Yeovil on the opening day of last season I knew you were the 3rd Division footballer for me. I stuck by you during the lean spells but I always felt vindicated when you’d score a screamer like at Crawley or Bradford and I was always there for you, defending your honour from the boo boys.

I even contemplated making this a long distance relationship but I realised I was kidding myself, we’ve both moved on and, frankly, the idea of spending my leisure time in Oldham is too much for even me, so it’s clear to me that it’s time for us both to move on, part of that is for us to dispose of our joint possessions so I’ve listed our tattoo on eBay. I’m hoping that this will offer closure for us both, plus I’ll use the funds to shag some Lady Boys in Thailand so that’ll probably cheer me up a bit.

In closing, I wish you well at Oldham and I hope you show the footballing world what you’re obviously capable of but, if there’s another middle aged bloke in Oldham who thinks he can tattoo your autograph to his belly, I’ll scratch his fucking eyes out.

Love always,

Neil

Sheffield United Ticket update

DRFC members update

 

Having met with the club this morning we can confirm that tickets for the Sheffield United game are selling at a level similar to the Stoke game so there is a very real risk of selling out, especially in the South Stand. In addition to this there will be NO CASH TURNSTILES on the day in the South Stand although you can still buy tickets on the day at the ticket office.

We STRONGLY recommend buying your tickets in advance for this game. This can be done via the website, in the ticket office or over the phone with collection on the day by calling: 01302 762576.

 

Prices are as follows:
£23 – Adults
£17 – Seniors
£13 – 17-21 year olds.

Meet The Owners

Meet The Owners

DRFC Meet the Owners

 

Tickets are now available for the bi-annual ‘Meet The Owners’ event at the Keepmoat Stadium on Thursday 4th February 2016 (7pm), located in the East Stand and, as usual, the DRSG will be Tweeting from the event live for those that can’t make it.

The free event which will take place on Thursday 4th February 2016 (7-8pm) will provide fans with their first opportunity to field questions to First Team Manager Darren Ferguson, who will be flanked by CEO Gavin Baldwin and the DRFC board of directors. In the hour before the event fans will be able to view the kit designs which have been shortlisted for the kit design competition.

 

Tickets can be obtained from the Keepmoat Stadium Ticket Office or by calling 01302 762576.

If you can’t make it follow the DRSG Twitter for a live feed on the night.

 

Kit design competition 2016

Kit design competition 2016
chris white heart monitor drfc shirt DRSG kit design

DRFC have launched the kit design competition for the 2016/17 season.  Supporters are asked to create their shirt designs and submit them to the club  before the deadline of 5PM on 21st January 2016.

You can either email your designs to media@clubdoncaster.co.uk or drop them in at the Keepmoat Stadium.  Template files for supporters to use can be downloaded from HERE or if you prefer you can simply draw the design yourself.

The 2016/17 season will see a new, exciting and unique kit deal for Rovers with a new global kit supplier and the club have assured the DRSG that the winner of the competition will, in addition to having their design worn by players and fans alike, have a once in a lifetime experience. This is a prize that’s definitely worth winning!

The designs will be shortlisted prior to the Meet The Owners event on 5th February 2016, where details of the new kit provider and the 5 home and 5 away designs chosen to go to public vote will be revealed.

 

TOP TEN GREAT THINGS THIS SEASON

Mid way through a topsy-turvy season seems as good as any to have a retrospective over the season so far, Neil Taylor takes a look back:

DRFC a look back season

 

10 Oyston Out Banner

While it seems odd to start a list about positives from Rovers seasons with a protest about another sides owner, for a club like ours that has suffered a destructive owner in living memory the ability to call out a “benefactor” who seems to revel in the pain he’s inflicting on the heart and soul of a club is second nature. That was the first experience I’ve had of both sets of fans united and singing together and I was proud to have played my own small part with the OYSTON OUT banner. I’ve re read some of the drunken texts I sent to fellow Rovers fans that night, after enjoying the hospitality of both the Blackpool Supporters’ Trust and the Tangerine Knights and they tell a story of someone who was incredibly proud to be a Rovers supporter that night although towards the end of the night they tell a story of me being sick in the street and taking my clothes off to hail a taxi. Still, most of ‘em relate to that feeling of pride.

9 The BFG

One thing Rovers fans do well is a cult hero (hello Dougie, Colin Cramb and Leo Fortune West) and the BFG has filled that vacant niche with aplomb. During an “interesting” start to the season the supporters were desperate for a bright spot and that was provided by Thorsten. Probably the best example of the BFG doing his thing was the embarrassment at Port Vale where a typically toothless Dickov Rovers side could well have been 6 down by half time if not for a string of great saves including a penalty save by Stuckmann. Not many players came out of our first 8 games with a huge amount of credit but Stuckie did.

8 Black Bank Tifo

Unless you’re some sort of stationery fetishist 2200 A3 sheets of cardboard shouldn’t give you a sexual thrill but I’m a big enough man to admit a certain tightening in my loins after watching the last couple of seconds of this video made all the better for me personally knowing the blood, sweat and tears that went into it by so many people (I hope you all washed your hands after holding those cards up). From the Black Banks earliest days where unfurling a banner seemed to be beyond us to synchronising over two thousand people. We’ve come a long way, baby.

7 Beating Leeds

You can say plenty of things about Paul Dickov, I certainly know I have, but you can’t knock his record in a Yorkshire derby. For the weeks leading up to this game the hard core cadre of Leeds fans at my work (you know the ones, live in Balby and have only ever seen the “mighty whites” when they play at Donny) were assuring me that they would steamroller little old pub team Donny. Well, I feel this video probably conveys more than my words ever could:

6 Andy Williams coming into form

Has a Rovers player ever immediately introduced the concept of cuckolding to so many fans? I’m not sure what Andy does in his spare time but if the Keepmoat faithful are to be believed he spends at least half of his precious time off ploughing through their wives, showing an incredible amount of stamina considering his 100% commitment on the pitch. I’m thirty five years old but when I grow up I want to be Andy Williams.

5 Crewe game winner

Nothing, absolutely nothing exemplifies Rovers new found “never say die” attitude like this game. With Callum Saunders putting Crewe in front in the 89th minute and the subsequent rush to the exit by less hardy souls made it even more vital that those that remained in the stands ramped up the volume and the lads on the pitch responded perfectly. Two injury time goals. 3-2 win. Thank you and good fucking night.

4 Keegs goal

“We’re on the pitch, if Keegan scores” and, for a couple of brave/foolish souls at Burton, that’s exactly what they did, and who can really blame them? Often the forgotten man at Rovers Keegan is, to me, a bit of an unsung hero. He does the nitty gritty stuff so well that I can forgive his goal shyness. Now if only he’s listen to the chorus of “SHOOOOTS!” every time he gets the ball he might make the heady heights of three Rovers goals. Or perhaps not.

3 Appointing Fergie

I’ve seen over a dozen managers at Rovers and not one, even Stalwarts like Snods or ones who’d later have hugely successful spells managing Rovers, were met with anything like the sense of euphoria that the appointment of the Dazzler faced. For two days Wes Grimes and I stalked the Keepmoat, Cantley Park (which I was ejected from…) and the Crown hotel for clues on the appointment, we even ran the Black Banks successful #Managerwatch campaign on Twitter and still the appointment of Darren caught us a little off guard. An experienced manager with great contacts and a track record of promotion for this league, one who doesn’t talk shit and certainly doesn’t take it from his players (as our bench found out against Gillingham when they were late out for the second half). The club took their time but by god did they get it right.

2 Sacking Dickov

It’s easy to get caught up in the emotion of football and I’m certainly as guilty of that as anyone but I won’t apologise for my repeated calls for Dickov to go. Devoid of ideas, unable to get quality players to perform, weak leadership (such a contrast to his playing days) and the suggestions that he’d lost the dressing room meant his time was most certainly up. Most telling was Dick Watson saying (and I’m paraphrasing slightly here): Don’t blame Paul for being bad at his job, blame us for appointing him. “Come in Number 9, your time is up”.

1 Black Bank

Have you heard anyone mention the library or the KeepQuiet recently? Back in April last year I wrote an article for Pop Stand (link) that included the following paragraph:
“Football isn’t a matter of life or death, It’s much more important than that. – Bill Shankly. I think it’s safe to say that Bill Shankly wasn’t at the Keepmoat stadium on Saturday for the now infamous (and viral) nil-nil draw ground out between Rovers and Fleetwood but if he had been at the game I’m sure he wouldn’t have thought it was a matter of life and death, although there was a reasonable chance of being bored to death, perhaps he’d have thought it was a matter of meeting a couple of mates in a half empty stadium, sitting and half watching some mediocre football while chatting about what you’ve been up to at work and making plans for a night out. Is this what we want from our collective football experience, making small talk in a stadium nicknamed the “Keepquiet”? ”

 

I’ve been a lot of things in the Black Bank this season but being bored isn’t one of them and for that I thank every last one of you. Football is a tribal thing by its very nature and that extends to fans but I’ve never seen a stand so united as I have this season. Stone Island clad youths, middle age knackers in replica shirts (hello, me), OAP’s, Infants, it’s not mattered a single bit. I’ve grabbed people I’d not speak to in the street and given them a slobbery kiss, I’ve bounced up and down between teenagers and nanas (which is starting to sound like a niche porn film) I’ve seen an entire cross section of the Doncaster public united behind OUR team and I’ve never been happier.

Also, a couple of notable mentation: the entire crowd’s reception of Ben Parkinson. Absolute class personified and the clubs embrace of some fairly major changes. Making the South Stand unreserved was a brave decision, one that could have back fired spectacularly.

 

Enjoyed this article, think I’ve missed something major? Have your say in the comments section.

Also, please take the time to join the DRSG, only by expanding our membership can we have a real say at Doncaster Rovers, it’s completely FREE and takes seconds, just fill in the form below:

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Roots Hall – Away Ground Review

Roots Hall Review

In all honestly, I get more excited about away trips to the seaside than any local derby match Rovers play. Although Roots hall is far away from the seafront, there was still that atmosphere that you only get on the coast. Seagulls, chippys on every street corner, freezing cold temperatures and winds that literally knock you over. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Away ground review DRFC

Roots Hall had been quite the impenetrable fortress during most of the season, and even after our outstanding 3-0 victory, Southend have only lost three times at their ground all season. Surely, there must be something about the stadium that aids them in their successes at home.

First of all, parking. What a nightmare that was! With no parking available at the ground, and limited parking on the surrounding streets it took us a good half an hour to find a place we were actually allowed to park, and it was more difficult for those on the infamous ‘Sunshine Bus’ who also struggled to find anywhere that wasn’t residents only.

Whether they did or not is a completely different story.

The ground itself was the classic retro ground you see all around the country nowadays, desperately in need of some TLC but full of character. To be perfectly honest, I dread the day grounds like this disappear out of existence completely in favour of modern ones with no sentimental value. Unfortunately, the club has resurrected plans to build a new 21,000 capacity stadium, so that will be another one gone.

A particular highlight for me was the man in the flat behind the stand hanging out of the window watching the match (although once the third goal went in he decided to stop watching). That was definitely the best seat at the game, and I couldn’t help but wonder if the club had taken the initiative to start charging him.

The in-ground facilities were definitely below-par. Not one of the female toilets actually had a working flush and, according to my male travelling companions, the men’s toilets consisted of little more than a wall to urinate against. The bar didn’t serve any alcoholic beverages, much to the disappointment of many, but the snacks and drinks on offer were of a decent quantity with everything from pies to pringles. The staff, unfortunately, removed the lids of the bottles resulting in quite a few unfortunate spillages as a result of the excitement of the game at hand.

Most importantly, the pies. The snack-bar served Pukka pies, which were a solid 8/10 and a classic football snack enjoyed by many fans during the match. I must admit though, the pies down South will never be as good as a proper Northern one in my opinion. They actually offered a pie I haven’t seen available at many grounds this season: chicken and mushroom, but I didn’t sample one.

Overall I’d say my experience at Roots Hall was very positive. That is probably due to the seaside location, the fantastic atmosphere and obviously the away win drowning out some of the features that needed some work. In fact, the win probably helped me forget about how bad some aspects of the ground truly were. Still, I know for a fact Rovers fans will still visit every time we play them because nothing beats a trip to the coast.

 

Christmas FAQ’s

Helpful information for supporters across the festive period.

 

DRFC members update

When is the Rovers Club Shop open?
24th December 10:00am – 3:00pm
25th December CLOSED
26th December 10:00am – kick off (3:00pm) and 20 mins after match
27th December CLOSED
28th December CLOSED
29th December 10:00am – 4:25pm
30th December 10:00am – 4:25pm
31st December 10:00am – 3:00pm
1st January CLOSED
2nd January CLOSED
3rd January CLOSED
4th January 9:00am – 4:25pm (normal hours resume)

What is the Club Shop’s Returns policy?
All goods should be returned within 28 days of purchase date.  All tags to be on the garment and resalable. Personalised goods are not returnable unless faulty.

When is the Rovers Ticket office open?
24th December 9:00am – 1:00pm
25th December CLOSED
26th December 9:00am – kick off (3:00pm)
27th December CLOSED
28th December 9:00am – 4:30pm
29th December 9:00am – 4:30pm
30th December 9:00am – 4:30pm
31st December 9:00am – 1:00pm
1st January CLOSED
2nd January CLOSED
3rd January CLOSED
4th January 9:00am – 4:30pm (normal hours resume)

Where can I buy tickets for Scunthorpe United on Boxing Day?
At the ticket office at the above times, ONLINE HERE or by calling 01302 762576. Don’t forget the clubs Voucher M offer to Season Ticket holders who can bring two friends for £20.

When is the Belle Vue Bar open on Boxing Day?
12:15pm until kick off and then until one hour after the full time whistle.

How can I access the Keepmoat Stadium over Christmas?
Please check respective train and bus times prior to visiting Keepmoat Stadium as disruptions are to be expected. The Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club are offering coach travel to the Scunthorpe game while the club have reduced car parking prices to £3 and will donate a portion of takings to local charities. Please travel together if possible.

When can I purchase tickets for Oldham away (Monday 28th December)?
Tickets are on general sale NOW and will be taken off sale at 3pm on 26th December. You can buy ONLINE HERE, by calling 01302 762576 or on the day at Boundary Park – CASH ONLY with no cost increase.

When can I purchase tickets for Southend away (Saturday 2nd January 2016)?
Tickets go on general sale on Monday 28th December and will be taken off sale at noon on 31st December or you can buy ONLINE HERE. Please note prices increase by £2 on matchday.

Who can buy Stoke tickets and when?
Season ticket holders, Alliance members, Membership holders, multi-game package holders and persons who’ve purchased Scunthorpe tickets can buy NOW before the general sale on Monday 28th December. Tickets, at a maximum of £15, can be bought ONLINE HERE, at the ticket office or by calling 01302 762576.

How do I subscribe to Rovers Player if I can’t make the games?
Rovers Player brings you live and exclusive commentary of every first team game home and away no matter where you are in the world. Rovers Player is available on PC, tablet and mobile for just £4.49 per month! Click HERE for details.

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

DRFC vs Stoke City prices set

We’re very pleased to announce that, following consultation with the DRSG and other supports groups, the club have set excellent value ticket prices, ranging from £1 to £15.

The full ticket prices for all categories are :

  • Adult £15.00
  • Seniors £10.00
  • 17-21 £8.00
  • 12-16 £5.00
  • 11 and under £1.00

DRFC members update

The match will be played at the Keepmoat on Saturday the 9th of January 2016 kicking off at 3pm.

We’d like to commend the club for listening to the fans and setting these fantastic value prices for what is a very good fixture. This is an incredibly good value way to see some amazing players such as Tyson, Williams and Evina, we’re even told that Stoke have a couple of players worth watching.

Now it falls to us to absolutely pack out the ground and cheer the lads on to the next round. This is also a very good opportunity for us to demonstrate that, given the right ticket prices, we can fill the stadium and will certainly be a point of discussion between the supporters group and the club when ticket prices are being set for next season.

Tickets go on sale on Monday for season ticket holders and Alliance members. Supporters with a ticket for the Scunthorpe home game can buy from 21st December, with general sale commencing on 28th December.

Be a Club Scout with the DRSG

Are you already a season ticket holder? If so you have the opportunity to earn money back from Rovers by finding new season ticket holders for the new “Season Starter” part season ticket.

be a club scout DRFC DRSG

Recommend someone and once they pay for their new season ticket in full the scout will be entitled to 10% of the season ticket value (up to £27).

For the new season ticket holder the benefits are great:

The Colchester fixture will be absolutely FREE when you purchase the 16 game package to welcome Darren Ferguson to his first home game in charge.

Anyone buying before that date will get 20% off a season long membership into the new Alick’s bar situated off the players entrance.

Those that buy one of these packages will also be given the opportunity to take a penalty on the pitch against a first team goalkeeper*
If you score, then you will win £25 of Club Doncaster vouchers which can be used to buy tickets or merchandise!

The successful scorers from the spot will also go into a draw where one lucky winner will secure their Season Starter for free.

These packages are only available until 3pm on 31st October so buy now and back Darren Ferguson and the lads as this new era begins;
• Save on match prices including 1 FREE game
• Get a discounted membership in Alick’s Bar
• The chance to take a penalty and to win your Season Starter

*subject to availability. Squad goalkeepers may be used.

If you’re not already a DRSG member you can join for FREE by following this link: JOIN THE DRSG