VIDEO: ‘The future looks bright’ - Liam Hoden reviews this week’s Meet The Owners event

Gavin Baldwin, Terry Bramall, David Blunt, Dick Watson, Darren Ferguson
Gavin Baldwin, Terry Bramall, David Blunt, Dick Watson, Darren Ferguson
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Given Rovers’ position atop League Two, it was no surprise that the club’s latest Meet The Owners event was a friendly affair.

After all, what is there to moan about when the first team is seemingly strolling its way back into League One?

Of course, there were still a few issues raised on Monday evening at the Keepmoat. That is precisely what such events are for.

But concerns were relatively minor – frustration at the process of ordering tickets over the phone, a desire to name stands after players and a rather bizarre discussion about the merits of playing backward passes.

The latter subject drew an uncharacteristically passionate response from owner Terry Bramall. “They can pass back as much as they want when we’re the highest goalscoring team.” From a self-confessed non-football man, the sentiment could hardly have been more spot on.

In the main, the evening was informative about topics from top to bottom of the club.

There were plenty of hints at exciting plans, forming the basis of the five-year plan which has briefly been discussed already this year.

As much as the desire to have Rovers in the Championship and Dons in Super League within five years will be the headline targets, the Academy and facilities will be significant features of the plan.

As has become traditional, chief executive Gavin Baldwin took centre stage on the top table, addressing those minor concerns and also giving details on the more grand plans. As ever, he was unflappable in the face of questioning by supporters.

And the same can be said of Darren Ferguson. Though he did not face as much criticism as he did at the last event, he was typically forthright in his views, and not just on passing the ball backwards.

More in-depth details of what was discussed will appear on these pages and our website over the next few weeks.

But in brief, it was clear to see that ambition has reached levels of palpability not seen since the departure of John Ryan.

The desire to return to the Championship is exceptionally strong and words about those ambitions do not feel empty.

Of course, there has been no departure from Bramall and Dick Watson’s primary aim – to make Rovers a sustainable business.

The task of Baldwin and his staff is to deliver plans in which the two owners can be confident in investing. And they also have to deliver commercially to ensure Bramall and Watson are not throwing money into a business which is only losing money.

But the desire to deliver on both fronts and the passion to do so appears to be very strong.

It is not just on the pitch where excitement should be generated right now. The future looks bright.