I’ve always been sceptical about the term ‘fan engagement’.
For Rovers it’s typically amounted to flimsy Rob Jones masks and assurances that the food would get better for a bit.
So I was stunned to see our new communications manager, Ryan Murrant, in the stands for both the Barnsley and Notts County games speaking to fans about the decisions made by the club for next season.
This came just a week after the delicate decision to make the whole South Stand unreserved for 2015/2016, so it could have been seen as a brave move.
However, he was doing what football clubs normally fail to do which is to offer a face to face service where people could give him feedback.
It’s very easy for the club to say it believes in fan engagement but to actually put it into practice can often be more difficult.
Incentives for renewing season tickets early have been original, the penalties on the pitch were entertaining (some of the takers put our strikers to shame) and the £1879 draw was a decent nod to our heritage.
From my interactions with Ryan since his arrival, it is clear that he is a football man, something we’ve lacked since John Ryan’s departure. Long may it continue.
Things on the pitch also seem to have improved.
The transfer window slammed shut on Monday night and we’ve only lost loanee Sam Johnstone.
Having witnessed Harry Forrester’s magnificent performance against Coventry on Boxing Day and his fantastic solo goal against Barnsley, I expected the vultures to swoop. So to retain him for the second half of the season is as important as sigining any new player.
Yet with Andy Butler, Stephen Bywater, Abdul Razak and Uche Ikpeazu signing in January, Paul Dickov has signed a completely new spine.
With five home games in February we surely must feel confident of a play-off push. IRWT!
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