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Bristol Rovers

Memorial Stadium Founded 1883 The Pirates

For the first time in 94 years Bristol Rovers will be playing non league football. The city of Bristol will have one team in the Football League after the Pirates were relegated last term. Throughout the fifties the club enjoyed second tier football and spent the sixties onwards in the third and fourth levels. Where the Conference Premier have lost Luton Town they have gained Bristol Rovers, who averaged over 6000 supporters per game last season. Rovers are currently hoping for a new home moving to the provisionally named UWE Stadium. The club plan to sell the Memorial Stadium to help fund a 21700 all seater arena and expect it to be ready by the 2015/16 campaign.

Last Seasonbristol rovers

League Two: 23rd

F.A Cup: 3rd Round

League Cup: 1st Round

County Cup: Quarter final

Top Scorer: John-Joe O’Toole

Average Attendance: 6420

Relegation was always a threat last term despite the Pirates entering the bottom two in the final month. Bristol Rovers spent just three matchdays in the drop zone as they struggled all season on their travels.  At the Memorial Stadium they recorded the tenth best home record and fifth best defence. Away from Bristol, the story was completely different finishing with the worst set of results. The Pirates only away win was against Wycome Wanderers, who themselves were embroiled in the fight to stay up. Entering the final fixtures of the campaign John Ward’s side held a three point advantage two places above the drop. Whilst Northampton Town were winning against Oxford United and Wycombe Wanderers beating Torquay United, Bristol Rovers needed victory at home to Mansfield Town. The Pirates were beaten 1-0 condemning them to the Conference Premier on goal difference. Ward was replaced in March by his assisstant manager and after 41 days was sacked from his Director of Football role.

The Manager – Darrell Clarke

Spending time as assistant since the start of last season, Darrell Clarke moved into the hotseat on 28 March 2014. Although too late to save Bristol Rovers, Clarke’s credentials earned from his time at Salisbury City has given the 36 year old the opportunity to turn fortunes around at the Memorial Stadium. Having left Salisbury City in the summer for the Football League when Clarke returned to the Conference Premier he was destined to face his former club until their recent demise. The former Mansfield Town, Hartlepool United and Salisbury City winger spent three years managing at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium. He turned Salisbury City into a formidable home side leading them to promotion via the palyoffs to the Conference South. He took the Whites to the F.A Cup third round for the first time ever before bowing out to Sheffield United at Brammal Lane. A second playoff triumph followed in 2013 when Salisbury City beat Dover Athletic in the playoffs to take the Wiltshire club back to the Conference Premier.

The Summer

Darrell Clarke brings in two former Salisbury City players following the Wiltshire club’s relegation. Jamie White top scored under Clarke in the Whites promotion season having joined from Winchester City. The 24  year old netted an impressive 51 goals in 32 games for Winchester City in the Wessex League. Stuart Sinclair played 37 times for Salisbury City last term as a midfielder. Jake Gosling gruaduated from Exeter City’s academy, the midfielder made his international debut for Gibralter in May scoring the goal that earned a draw with Estonia. Former Forest Green Rovers striker Matty Taylor joins the Pirates, the England C international spent seven games on loan at Chester last term scoring six goals. The experienced Lee Mansell leaves fellow relegated side Torquay United after 380 appearances, the midfielder was the Gulls longest serving player.

There has been a lot movement out of the Memorial Stadium notably top striker John-Joe O’Toole who activated a release cause. The 25 year old made the League Two Team of the Year after netting 15 goals in a struggling campaign. Matt Harold departs and Brazilian winger Alefe Santos, who joins Derby County. Alan Gow was invited back to prove his fitness but with firm offers from elsewhere he leaves Bristol Rovers. Other players moving on include David Clarkson, Fabian Broghammer, Sean Clucas, Jim Paterson, Eliot Richards and Danny Woodards.

Next Meetings

Tuesday 7 October 2014 at the Memorial Stadium

Saturday 31 January 2015 at Princes Park

League Performance Last Ten Years

bristol rover 10 yrsBest Performances

6th Championship (1955/56 & 1958/59) F.A Cup Quarter Final (1950/51, 1957/58 & 2007/08) Never participated in the F.A Trophy

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