Fans Forum - review
Tuesday, 5th Aug 2014 11:06 by Col
A look back at Monday night's Fans Forum, and some of the questions that were asked on the night.
Keith Hill was asked about the trialists at the club – David Fox and Adam Morgan. He informed the crowd that David Fox was a player that had been training with the club and been given the benefit of playing two games for the club. In terms of signing him, it was suggested that the two parties were some way apart between what Fox wanted given his pedigree and what the club could afford to pay. Adam Morgan’s trial has now ended and he had returned to Yeovil Town.
Colin Garlick was asked about the recent consultation that took place about the Sandy Lane end and its possible closure for the preseason friendlies. He said that the decision to keep the stand open was made after the club had already started selling the 3-for-2 tickets for the terrace, but it was something he was happy to return to for any future games where there was a universal price to enter Spotland, such as JPT games.
There was a question as to whether there was any consideration by the club to sign Joe Thompson following his recent release by Tranmere Rovers. Dale boss Keith Hill was full of admiration for Bury FC and in particular their manager David Flitcroft by giving Joe Thompson a deal. Following the details in the media on Monday, it was suggested that Tranmere had a moral responsibility to offer him something, even if it was only a short term deal.
There was the annual Fans Forum question about the Stadium Company and any recent updates on our attempts to regain full control. Director Andrew Kelly stated that he had met with the RFL on three occasions in an attempt to acquire their shares. It was stated that the Stadium Company’s debts were approximately £600,000, and it had reached the stage where the Football Club were paying bills that should be the Stadium Company’s responsibility given that the details of the Stadium Company stated that it must be kept as a standard that met both FL and RFL requirements. There remains a desire to take control, and the offer remains on the table. It was stated that the offer was put together before the Scott Hogan sale.
Keith Hill was asked what would make a successful season in League One. He called promotion to be a dream given the size and finances of the clubs that we will be up against this season, calling the division almost a second division of the Championship.
The board were asked if we were any closer to getting any training facilities. Andrew Kelly stated that a sum of £20,000 had been spent upgrading the facilities at Rochdale C.C. that were being used by the first team at the moment, but the club were currently investigating the possibility of venues at Matthew Moss and Springfield Park, but plans were very much in the initial stage and if they came to fruition, it would be in time for the 2017-18 season.
The manager was asked if he felt that we would be getting any better referees now we were playing at a higher level. Hilly conceded that we had an awful run with referees last season, and that at a manager’s conference over the Summer regarding referees they were shown six contentious decisions, and three of them involved our games from last season. Keith Hill was all for better communication between managers and referees, but felt at times they were over protected by their own association. Full time referees would be help but the FA would rather spend £8,000,000 a year on the England manager.
Colin Garlick was asked about the upgrade of the Floodlights and whether the work had taken place. He explained that we had obtained a dispensation from the Football League to extend the deadline. One of the biggest issues was that the Premier League had to raise their Floodlight ratings from 800 to 3000 to suit the needs of satellite television, and as such, those who could carry out the work for us were busy doing Premier League people. One of the people we have been talking to had been busy at Swansea City this week. We had been let down by one person, but the work will be completed during September.
There was an enquiry over the current fashion for playing 3-5-2 at the World Cup and whether it would seep into English Football as a result. Hill stated that we had used it ourselves last season to great effect at Morecambe and Torquay (FA Cup). He said that its strengths were to quote Tony Adams, it allowed you to play three average centre halves as opposed to two good ones. When used effectively, it would involve one centre half and a full back either side – as demonstrated in the home game against Wigan in preseason.
A question was asked about a scoreboard and if there was any follow up on previous discussions to get one installed. Colin Garlick said it had been looked at in consultation with the Trust, but it wasn’t followed up on due to cost of installation and being able to keep it updated.
With Scott Hogan having been sold, the manager was asked about who would step into his shoes. He began by stating the difference that a player like Scott Hogan brought and there were games last season where he was unplayable, but the money on the table made it impossible for the club to turn it down. He saw Jack Muldoon and Calvin Andrew being the ones to step up and take that role, but as mentioned previously, Muldoon’s injury had set him back.
Someone asked about the way Vincenti and Bennett had been treated at the back end of last season. Hilly was full of praise for both players, and the role that they played last season. Bennett in particular had proved to be vital in the last three or four games. He said that despite what might be said during games, he was a very forgiving manager, and he was never one to seek confrontation. To help with that, he’d had a settee installed in his office for its calming influence.
Will the back four be as good this year after the loss of Jack O’Connell? Hill said that the loss of O’Connell would be a blow for any team as he considered him to be a Championship player, but we’d know more after between 4 and 6 games, but he was still looking to recruit in vital area.
With so many of the players having committed themselves to a further two years, was there any progress on Matty Lund who still hadn’t signed his contract extended? Hill stated that the deal was very much still on the table, but he was pleased that Lund had a very good agent who was not threatening this and that every five minutes. This may or may not have been a reference to an agent involved with a former Dale player. Hill seemed very comfortable with the situation.
Hill was asked if Peter Cavanagh had been in his plans. He started by singing the praises of his former captain, saying that he had been an outstanding captain on the field and a brilliant influence in the dressing room, but with the likes of Allen, Lund, Hery, Camps etc he had to look to the future.
On the subject of captaincy, a question was asked about who would be captain this season. Hill said that Ollie Lancashire would be his team captain but no decision had been taken about the club captain. He said that he was looking for that responsibility from all of his players, and the likes of Jamie Allen could easily lead by example.
The change of position for Matty Done was asked about. Hill had the house in stitches when he said that he said that Done loves coming from behind, like any man. Once the laughter had died down,, he said that the switch last season was down to pace, and it had been responsible for a 10-12 game period which ultimately got the club promoted.
With no deal being agreed at Bury, a possible return for Paddy McCourt was suggested. Keith Hill responded with a very firm no saying that McCourt didn’t have the discipline or responsibility to fit into our side, and that “great goals and relegation” was not enough.
The rise and rise of Bastien Hery was asked about. Hill said that he was constantly pushing for him to take more responsibility for the team, rather than individual brilliance. He gave the example of the recent Bolton game where Hery had been the game’s stand out player but had been responsible for both goals that we conceded. He said that the work would continue.
Photo: Action Images
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