View from the South Stand - Doncaster Rovers 06/08/11
Brighton and Hove Albion kick-off the 2011/12 Championship
season with their first competitive fixture at the American
Express Community Stadium where they take on old friends
We pestered Glen Wilson from Viva
Rovers! to answer some questions for us.
will be Doncaster's key men this season for us to look out
depends on who stays fit long enough really, Billy Sharp
is obviously a proven and consistant goal threat, and he
benefits from the creativity of Jamie Coppinger and John
Oster behind him. Oster's form wasn't the best last season,
but he still set up a fair share of Sharp's goals. Also
keep an eye out for Ryan Mason, on loan from Spurs for the
season, he is a really talented player and could really
develop over the months ahead.
What are your hopes and expectations for the season?
The hope is to stay in the Championship, and the expectation
is to just about do that. The division looks the strongest
its been since we came into the second tier in 2008, so
despite murmurs of being dark horses, staying up will always
remain the first objective.
O'Driscoll has received several approaches from other
clubs. What do you think of him and why do you think he
has remained loyal to Donny when most managers these days
jump at the chance to go to a so-called bigger side?
thanks to Glen for his insight into the forthcoming fixture.
If you use Twitter and fancy tweeting him this weekend as
each Albion goal goes in, then you can follow Glen via @vivarovers
think he's phenomenal, and a welcome antidote to the managers
in the game who are touted as being 'characters', which
is of course a football byword for wankers. He has his
footballing principles and he sticks by them, and they've
brought forth the best football I've ever seen Rovers
play, so I can't speak highly enough of him. Loyalty is
obviously something O'Driscoll values, his entire professional
football career as player and manager has been spent at
just three clubs. At Rovers he was given time to implement
his methods and his style, and it took the best part of
fifteen months to click, its hard to see any other side
or its supporters being that patient. He also has a distinct
distain for the media circus and hyperbole which surrounds
football, at Rovers he's just enough below the radar for
it to be far removed from his day job.
How much do you know about the
The... The Albion? Albion? ...Albion, Albion,
Albion? No, sorry, doesn't ring any bells.
fans have a lot of respect for Doncaster fans after the
last game at the Goldstone as well as our respective troubles
with chairman. What do Donny fans make of us?
is a mutual respect, and it is forged from that period.
That said, up until the final whistle most Rovers fans'
experiences of that last game at the Goldstone were far
from pleasant and many I know say that it remains the
most worried for their own safety they have ever been
at a game. Thankfully the mood changed at the final whistle,
and it became the love-in that's acknowledged now of two
sets of supporters empathising with each others' perilous
plight. Brighton fans were instrumental in the efforts
of the Save the Rovers Group the following season (97-98)
so there is a remaining sense of fondness there.
We are moving into a new stadium. How much of an effect
has going to the Keepmoat had to the club and its recent
loved Belle Vue, it was a hole, but it was our hole. However,
it had reached the point where nostalgia was all it was
good for, and the move to the Keepmoat was necessary for
the club to grow, and more importantly, for it to be taken
seriously by the population of the town. I'm not sure
how much the Keepmoat has contributed to the club's success,
but there is no doubting that it has improved the club's
Obviously all Brighton fans will
be more excited than normal about the first game after
waiting 14 years for a new home. Are Doncaster fans looking
forward to the occasion or will it be pretty much just
I said back in April that if Rovers stayed up in the Championship
I hoped our first game would be Brighton away, to bring
events of the last fifteen years full circle, and I'm
glad its come to pass. Because of the empathies touched
on earlier I don't think it could ever be seen as just
another game from a Rovers point of view. If I had my
way the two teams would come out to "Looks Like We
Made It" by Barry Manilow. That said, all this is
null and void if Rovers lose.
Being about to embark on your
fourth season in the Championship, what is the difference
between it and League One and what do you need to do to
Take your chances. Its simple, cliched football talk I
know, but it does genuinely seem to be key. In Rovers
first season back at this level we played some great football
from August through to December, but couldn't hit the
net and were deservedly rock bottom. The football we play
hasn't necessarily improved in the last four years, but
we're certainly more prolific. In terms of the difference
between the Championship and League One, the obvious one
is the money kicking about, notably amongst those who've
recently parachuted from the top flight. The sort of sides
being assembled by Leicester and West Ham for this season
are a far cry from the third tier.
Would you be so bold as to predict
who you think will gain promotion this season and which
trio do you see slipping out of the division come May? (Please
West Ham look set to repeat Newcastle's brief Championship
vacation and I suspect Middlesbrough and Leicester to
follow them up, with Forest just missing out in some guise
or another, as is their way. Going down, Coventry look
buggered, and Peterborough are probably fearful too. Most
people will be tipping us to make up the trio, but we
should be OK so I'll say Barnsley in the hope it kicks
off some sort of South Yorkshire rivalry.
And finally, what do you think
the score will be on Saturday?
I never get predictions right so what the hell, a 4-4
opening day thriller (Probably with Rovers having gone
4-0 up as well).