In preparation for the new campaign and the first experience for Gloucester in the NL South, I spoke to Gloucester fan Chris about his thoughts on the transfer across divisions and the upcoming campaign.
How long have you supported Gloucester?
Since 1994, so 23 years.
Last season was quite good for you. Finishing 10th in the North. Do you think Gloucester can repeat, or even, exceed that in the South?
Hopefully so but we’ve lost three key players in Singh (goalkeeper), Deaman (central defender) and top goalscorer Hopper so we’ll have to see how the replacements fare. We’ve also just lost left-back Lewis Hall for a few months after ligament injury in yesterday’s pre-season with Hereford. There’s not much money for players with the ground taking shape so if we don’t get any more long-term injuries we could be up there challenging for the play-offs. Whether we can take part in them is another question mind you….
Who do you think will be the key players for the Tigers this season?
Zack Kotwica and Ed Williams can always cause defences issues with their skill and pace. If they are both on form then we create a lot of chances. Sam Avery is an absolute rock at the back and was immense for most of last season in the North.
What are your opinions of the transfer from the National League North to the National League South? Do you believe it would be more beneficial?
From a financial perspective no as there are far more teams in the north that have large away followings, which when you are in our position with no home ground is always needed. There is a notion that the south is the “easiest” of the two leagues however, and with teams like York and Spennymoor coming into the north plus Salford spending silly money maybe we are better off here.
What can away fans expect of your ground? What are the facilities like?
It’s basic, the main stand is a fair way away from the pitch and so far the stewards brought in haven’t exactly enamored themselves to our support. It’s gonna be pretty difficult to get much atmosphere as its pretty open. It’s also in the middle of nowhere. Am I doing a good job of selling it?
We’ve played at worse! Have you been to Melbourne in the past? If so what do you think of the general atmosphere and facilities?
I haven’t I’m afraid so can’t answer that one. I remember Chelmsford fans coming to Meadow Park opening game of the season in 95/96 though and they made a racket.
Finally, what do you believe will constitute a successful season for Gloucester?
On the field staying in the division, we shouldn’t (hopefully) have any relegation concerns but we have to remember we are playing 30 miles away from Gloucester with not much revenue coming in on matchdays. Off the field, ground has to be at a point where we can say it will be done by X date. As it stands we still haven’t a clue if this season (our 10th) is our last in exile or not.
Thanks to Chris for taking time out to answer a few questions about his beloved Gloucester. Good luck for the season Chris.
UP THE CITY! WHEEL ‘EM IN!