JOHN RYAN: Here’s hoping for a happier New Year

CELEBRATION TIME: John Ryan is hoping for more good times in 2013.
CELEBRATION TIME: John Ryan is hoping for more good times in 2013.

THE past 12 months have been very turbulent and obviously losing our Championship status was incredibly disappointing, writes John Ryan.

The Championship is not the easiest of places in which to survive when you are a club of our ilk, and playing to gates of around 10,000.

And then you see others throwing money at teams like water. Just look at Bristol City, they are losing tens of millions a year and still in relegation trouble once more.

Should we go up, I don’t know what formula we would go for but I know this, we would give it a go.

The four years in the Championship were great and it was good to mix it with the bigger clubs, although towards the end of last season we all know it was a huge struggle.

I am enjoying life in League One.

Rather than suffering defeats in relegations battles, it’s nice to regularly go home on a Saturday night and celebrate taking three points.

The difference between being in the Championship and League One when August came round was something like £6 million which is a bitter pill to swallow.

I do feel that Dean Saunders has done a great job to keep us in touch with the leading pack.

Like most supporters, I would have taken mid-table consolidation this season. When you come down from a division, it’s easy to slide into the next. It happened to Rovers many years ago when we were last in Division Two and it was straight down into Division Three.

One of the highlights for me over the past 12 months has been the away support we have had, plus signing the likes of Rob Jones and David Cotterill.

It has been great to watch James Husband come through from the Academy and also witness what I believe to be a record-breaking goal on debut, albeit from the bench.

Jordan Ball’s headed goal late in the second half against Chesterfield in the JPT, ten seconds after coming on, must be one for the Guinness Book of Records!

Jordan is also one for the future and we look forward to more quality coming forth from Cantley Park.

Of course, the real low of the past 12 months has to be the relegation, my first in almost 15 seasons back at Rovers.

Let’s hope we can achieve Championship status again at the first attempt and hope Lady Luck rides into the New Year with us.

In 2013 I would also like to see the sort of football that we appreciate here at Doncaster.

I have every faith in Dean Saunders to achieve this and establish himself as one of our country’s top managers.

On the national front I will continue to pray for more technology to come into the game after seeing how it really benefits cricket and the two codes of rugby.

In the recent Test series in India we have seen just how well cricket is served by it.

I know we all get stressed up to the hilt by mistakes in our game that could simply be ironed out by technology.

I would like to see the fourth officials spending less time separating the two managers outside their technical areas and more time watching some video footage, and then communicating what they see to the referee.

Merry Christmas everyone and I wish you all a Happy New Year.

Rovers Till I Die

John Ryan