NO FIRST hand soccer observations this week. The medical men are in charge and I am at best sofa bound.
There is still much to think about however and no better place to start than the possible move to Javelin Park, a story that exclusively broke in this newspaper on Wednesday.
This has provoked much comment, some of it wide of the mark and with little basis in reality. However many sensible points have been made by individuals with a sense of both perspective and reality.
At the pre-season fans' forum manager and chairman were united. The aim for the club is league football, but not to remain in league two but to move onwards and upwards.
Some of you are now probably spluttering with disbelief, but surely it is a realistic aim. Look at what is happening to Crawley and Fleetwood.
Such progress would make a move inevitable and we should all welcome it. Nothing is worse than any organisation content with doing little more than maintaining the status quo.
The Conference is no place for a club with gates of less than one thousand and flirting with relegation. The names of those who have perished (Farsley Celtic, Grays, Canvey Island, Salisbury, etc) leap to mind. Their way must not be ours.
Some other irresponsible views need to be dealt with. The proposed move is not a chairman Dale ego trip. There is no ego whatsoever attached to our chairman. He is a shrewd man, able to make decisions and then act on them. Personal vanity does not come into it.
The other comment that needs dealing with is the one about a move to Javelin Park killing two clubs, Forest Green and Gloucester City is similar nonsense.
Our chairman is not in the business of killing something he has expensively resuscitated.
Anyway do not Gloucester City seem to be performing that task themselves? Flooded out seven years ago how near are they to returning to their former ground? Of course they have had wretched luck but something should be happening by now.
My view is the proposed move should take place under these conditions.
1) Rovers must be promoted 2) The name of the club must never change. For so many of us a proud history is encapsulated in the name. There is no substitute for FOREST GREEN ROVERS.
3) All prospective sites must be carefully examined. The Supporters Club and the Trust will have points to make, but how much stronger they would be if they spoke with one voice. Perhaps the unity of the two groups is close. This would make meaningful dialogue about a move much more probable.
Back to football action, super points at Aldershot and at home to Bristol Rovers on Bank Holiday Monday.
Last Friday, a Rovers XI containing Bangura, Kelly, Oshodi, Bennett shipped six goals against a Cheltenham team for whom an eighteen year old striker scored four times.
Does this not indicate that manager Ady is getting his first team selection correct? I have been surprised that the true jewel in our footballing crown, Lee Hughes has so far not missed a game.
Managing a player’s fitness is not however just choosing the games he plays in. It means managing his training as well, then listening to the player on match day mornings. Anyway so far so good.
Big plusses this season are the increased danger at corners and the low card count. That is one table I am glad we are near the bottom of. Our team is not gentle, far from it but the disciplinary side is approached in a more professional way.
There is one matter in which I do criticise our manager. Perhaps he is too late in making substitutions. Our bench is the strongest ever and seeing James Norwood coming on with 25 minutes to go would surely test tired defenders. Leaving such a change until the last five minutes is pointless. After all it is a fourteen man game these days.