RUFC - No atmosphere at Don Valley?
Rotherham United Manager, Ronnie Moore thinks that his team have missed the '12th man` since moving to Don Valley Stadium and even goes as far as saying that he believes they would have got promoted last season if they`d still been playing at Millmoor.
Since Moore re-joined the Millers as Manager, he has made no secret of the fact that he`s not a fan of Don Valley, much preferring a ground where the fans were near the touchline and could urge the players on (though if the last few games are anything to go by maybe that wouldn`t have been a good thing).
Speaking to David Beddows of The Advertiser, Moore said, 'The Tivoli was a place where the supporters could congregate and make a noise, be the twelfth man and put the visiting team on the back foot. Every ground has an end where the most vocal fans gather and the noise at some of the grounds we go to is unbelievable. Where`s that at Don Valley? Our fans are more vocal away from home than there.
'At home it`s difficult for people to come and support us as a group and as a vocal crowd, even when we are playing really well. Where`s the home advantage for us?
'But, although it`s not ideal it`s no excuse and we have to get on with it.`
Defender, Nick Fenton added his thoughts too saying, 'I played lots of times for other clubs at Millmoor and it was an intimidating place. The crowds were breathing down your neck and they were on top of you. At Don Valley our fans are thirty or forty yards away from the pitch and only on one side. Who is that going to intimidate?
'The pitch is lovely this season and no team is going to fear coming here when there`s a lovely surface to play on and no fans anywhere near them. We know we are going to be at Don Valley this year and next and we`ve got to get on with it and turn those one pointers into three.
'Would we have had more points if we`d been playing at Millmoor? It`s a hypothetical question but we do think we`d have had a few more.`
I think people who know me, know I don`t like Don Valley. I have only once felt at atmosphere there and that was in the play-off semi-final last season against Aldershot. I loved Millmoor and yes, I do know all its faults, but you learn to ignore or understand them. And, yes, I do realise that, we would probably have had to move our sooner or later, but for me it was the way we moved. I never felt we had time to say a proper goodbye to Millmoor and when I go past it now and see the lovely pitch (and yes, the half built stand!) I still feel pulled towards the old place. Someone on Tuesday said to me he still believed we`d end up back there, even if it`s while the new stadium is built - but I think it`s too late now. I just hope the Don Valley doldrums doesn`t affect the team too much until our new place is built.
So what do you think?
Do you still miss Millmoor? Or have we moved on?
Would we have got promoted last season if we'd been there?
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