We talk to a Rotherham fan ahead of the new season! How will the new boys to League Two fare this season?
Tell us a bit about your season last season firstly. Would you say it was a success or failure? Did you achieve anything throughout the season, and were the fans happy with the end result?
On the one hand the result of last season was expected, with minus ten on the board to start staying up would have been a massive achievement. However, with the way we played up to Christmas and the subsequent collapse the result of the season was disappointing.
Obviously every close season sees players leave. Who left your club and were you happy with the decision to let those players go by your boss?
Far too many to list. We’ve had a massive clear-out, some were automatics to go who everyone expected because they just weren’t up to scratch. Others, such as Martin Woods, went because they are simply too good for the division. I would have loved to have kept him, but it wasn’t to be. Keane went because, as I understand, he didn’t have the right attitude. I see that as a strong move by the manager, he’s setting a mark for the rest of the team – don’t mess about with me as boss.
So obviously, with players going out, some have got to come in. Who has come in for you, and do you expect them to do well? Tell us a bit about these lads?
To be honest I don’t know much about them. I’ve seen one pre-season, Mark Hudson looked impressive (but ended up injured), Coughlan looked solid at the back and Warrington was competent in goal. At the moment I’m more interested in working out who’s who! We’ve got a lot of new guys.
Who are going to be your star players this season then? Who`s going to get the goals, and who`s going to stop them?
I really don’t know, the team is so new! Coughlan looks a good defender, he looks solid. He could do well. As for goal scorers I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Season ticket sales help the club at the beginning of the season to stabilise the place and give it a bit of extra income. How many season tickets have your club shifted these season so far, and what do you expect the average attendance to be throughout the season?
I’m not sure of a number so far but it has been decent and that’s better than a lot expected with the high prices. As for average numbers, I reckon we’ll have a solid 3,000 which, if we do well, should be about 4,000. I don’t know what away followings are like in this division, so I couldn’t give you an estimate as to gate averages.
Tell us a bit about your gaffer and his backroom staff. Do the fans like the gaffer, or can you see him being out of a job after a run of bad results?
Yes, we like him. He’s young, confident, intelligent, professional, has learned under the best and has scored with the best – for Rotherham. Mark Robins was, and is, a fans favourite. John Breckin was assistant under Ronnie and has a lot of experience, again he’s an ex-player and has a lot of respect around here. Dawsy is our fitness coach… he’s a little bit large for my liking… hmmm.
This question is split into two. What do you BELIEVE your club can achieve this season, and what do you HOPE your club can achieve this season?
To be honest it’s mainly hope at the moment as the team is pretty much brand new. I’ll go with I believe we can be a strong mid-table side but I hope we can make the play-offs/win promotion.
Finally, whom do you expect to win the division, who do you think will go up with them and who do you think will be relegated?
I’d like to see the teams play before I take a stab at that. Unlike many other fans I don’t have last season watching this league to go on. I could see Chesterfield doing well though.