Date:Wednesday August 31 2011
Rotherham United play Swindon Town on Saturday in front of the Sky TV camera`s and before our game I managed to ask a Robins fans some questions….
How long have you been following Swindon Town?
Born into a Swindon Town household. By 'household' I mean that my dad supported them once upon a time and I have since taken the baton. Like many older fans, my dad abandoned Swindon in the late 90's when a previous board treated the fans like dirt and almost killed the club.
I remain loyal but it feels like a never ending endurance test.
Can you remember your first game following The Robins?
I was 6 years old and it was against Port Vale at home under the management of Ossie Ardiles during the 1990/91 season. Swindon lost 2-1 and my first Town goal was courtesy of a Darren Beckford own goal. My main memory is the swearing and the smell of cigars/cigarettes. I loved watching football before but the match day experience beats watching it on television all day long.
Who is the best player you have ever seen in a Robins' shirt?
The most gifted player I've ever seen in a Swindon Town shirt was without a doubt Glenn Hoddle. My favourite all-time player though is Shaun Taylor who was a tall, gum shield wearing no nonsense defender who helped us get into the Premier League.
What are your thoughts on Paolo Di Canio - and did you feel his appointment was a bit controversial?
Well I don't agree with his politics. A minority of Town fans feel that they cannot follow the club under the management of an individual who is openly fascist and that's fair enough. However, I expected a bit more protest but it hasn't happened. His political beliefs have nothing to do with football and therefore it's right for us to move forward like most have.
If I am totally honest I wanted a bit more experience with our new appointment. Town interim chairman Jeremy Wray felt that he had to capture our imaginations which is sort of what the previous board did the last time we were in the 4th Tier. Last time we ended up with Dennis Wise/Gus Poyet and all was well until they buggered off to Leeds United in October 2006. The experience of Paul Sturrock guided us to a steady third place (automatic promotion).
Paolo Di Canio talks a magnificent game but we are yet to see much of this translated on to the pitch. His signings have been questionable and agent influence seems to have played a part in a few of our signings which is a concern.
This will be my first visit to the County Ground - what sort of a welcome will we get?
I doubt we'll be any different than any other Ground you've visited! Other than the ticket admission price grumblings.
After a good first game, you are lingering in the bottom five. Where do you think you will finish the season?
Who knows! We can't lose many more games this season if we want automatic promotion (yes I am still thinking that way - sort of). Play-Offs is the minimum but whether that's possible? We shall see.
Who should we be looking out for on Saturday?
The fans love Simon Ferry. He was brilliant in his first season as a loanee from Celtic but Danny Wilson and Paul Hart ignored him for whatever season during his second. Shall we say that he's a bit of a character.
Centre-back Aden Flint has been our best player thus far this season while Matt Ritchie is our attacking threat in midfield. None of our forwards have scored in the league so far and we're hoping for Alan Connell to get a run or new signing Lukas Magera to live up to the hype. As always, time will tell.
When you hear the name, Rotherham United, what are your first thoughts?
When I was a kid I had 'Danny Baker's Right Hammerings' on VHS. Rotherham United 6-0 Chelsea was on there and for whatever reason that result is what I think of when Rotherham United are mentioned. I recall a white ball with a right stripe going around it... That was unusual to me!
What is the best game you have seen following the Robins?
In recent years it was Bristol City 1-2 Swindon Town back in 2004. Nothing massively significant but it was a great day. Darius Henderson got a debut brace and we hadn't beaten City for about 5 years before that game. I'm from West Wiltshire so in many ways the Bristol City/Rovers games are more off a big deal than the Oxford derby fixtures.
Finally - predicted score for Saturday
Town will win 2-1, the Town fans will hope that this will be 'the turning point' and then we'll lose our next game. Repeat until bored.
You've had an impressive manager or two in your time haven't you!
Thanks for taking time out to answer our question. Hope your season goes well - except on Saturday and in the middle of January!!!
Date:Wednesday August 31 2011
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