Doncaster Rovers: All about enjoyment for club key figures at Meet The Owners
Doncaster Rovers co-owner Terry Bramall says he feels this season may be his most enjoyable yet since getting involved with the club 13 years ago.
And judging by the general mood at the club’s latest Meet The Owners event, he is not the only one enjoying himself currently.
An air of positivity surrounded the evening with Rovers in a strong position for a promotion push and playing entertaining, attacking and successful football.
It meant there were few gripes or grumbles from supporters present on the night – even kiosk queuing arrangements failed to get a mention.
Questioning the need for watering the pitch and the regular - and valid – battle of the generations over standing or sitting both at home and away was as negative as the talking points got on the Thursday evening at the Keepmoat.
One of the most interesting aspect about these bi-annual events is the opportunity to hear from Bramall, chairman David Blunt and vice-chairman Andy Watson – a trio of key club figures who prefer to carry out their business away from the public eye.
And Bramall took the opportunity to speak about his enthusiasm for Rovers and why he continues to fund the Club Doncaster project as a whole.
“When myself and Andy’s father [Dick Watson] responded to the call to come and help the club we did so because this town was very good to Keepmoat,” he told the audience.
“That is why we have kept putting in the money in and working hard to develop this club.
“I think we're developing it from top to bottom and it’s fantastic having a manager now like Grant who is getting the performances on the pitch we are all enjoying.
“And we have managers like Grant throughout this organisation. We're making this a real club from top to toe.
“It’s making waves and people are listening. I think that is why we're able to get these national sponsors like LNER.
“It’s been a big challenge Doncaster. I was born here and I’ve seen it's potential. That is not being over emotional – we’ve got to keep working on it.
“Today, I work on it through this club and my colleagues.
“Performance on the pitch is one thing. Performance in other areas is something that will enable this club to continue to grow and be more sustainable.
“I’m as thrilled with where we are today.
“For me, it's the best season we’ve had.
“We might not necessarily finish with the cups we’ve had before or the promotions, but five eights of the way through I think we’re having a great season.
“I’m enjoying it and I hope you are too.”
The rapturous round of applause which came at the conclusion of Bramall’s time on the microphone suggested agreement among the supporters present.
Any hard pressing at such events is generally saved for the manager, or chief executive Gavin Baldwin, who continues to deal with the individual issues with the composed professionalism he has done since the inception of Meet The Owners.
For Watson – take a more prominent role in the event since the death of his father Dick two years ago – there was one question: ‘are you enjoying it?’
A genuine fan of the club who can be seen up and down the country at games, Watson insists he is.
And he says the enjoyment is helping he and his family overcome the challenges of ownership without the involvement of his father.
“The financial side is different now since dad died," he said.
“There are different pressures on the family.
“But we’re still here. We’ve been here long term and we’re still going to be here.
“As the initiatives that are led by David and Gavin are producing more income and gradually reducing the deficit of the monies we have to put in.
“We're still here and we're really enjoying it.
“We're Doncaster people, we support the club.”
For chairman Blunt, there was an opportunity to look to the future and what may come with Rovers in such a promising position.
He was heavily involved with the recruitment of McCann as manager and has been delighted with the manner in which the Northern Irishman has handled his business since his appointment.
Blunt feels the club are in safe hands and is confident success will come, whether this season or not.
“We've gone through all the requirements Grant thinks we need to be a better club next year and this year and we feel we can satisfy all the things he feels we need to do that,” Blunt said.
“We’re not trying to put any pressure on the players or put any pressure on Grant.
“We want to work as a team going forward and be happy with the achievements we think are going to come from it as well.”
Happiness and enjoyment were the key buzzwords from a night of positivity – just don’t mention turning water sprinklers on near kids.