Ryan On The Record: Rovers chairman on youth team, Iain Hume and memories of Leyton Orient

Rovers' Chris Brown levels the score against Stevenage. Picture: Andrew Roe
Rovers' Chris Brown levels the score against Stevenage. Picture: Andrew Roe

ONCE again I am opening this week’s column with a mention about our very successful academy side.

They sit at the top of the league after Saturday’s 3-1 win at Bradford City and are unbeaten in six games.

This side really is our future.

And wouldn’t it be nice to have five or six lads in the first team and do what Crewe Alexandra have been doing for decades?

I cannot congratulate and thank Paul Wilson and Paul Stancliffe enough for what they are doing down at Cantley with these youngsters alongside Dean Saunders and Brian Carey.

I would also like to thank the members of the Alliance who have been supporting the academy now for the past three years with their two pounds per week.

You must all feel proud right now to see your boys doing so well in a very competitive league.

Back to last Saturday, a game which I missed as I was in Majorca, and the first I have missed this season.

Despite a slow start I gather we were unlucky not to take all three points.

Well done to Chris Brown on his fourth goal of the season and I feel now we have him fit there are many more to come from him.

It’s also nice to see our young keeper Gary Woods gathering experience and confidence. There’s no wonder with such a leader like Rob Jones in front of him.

I am also told that Iain Hume came on against Stevenage and gave a very workmanlike performance.

I have followed his career at Tranmere Rovers, Leicester City and then Barnsley where he suffered that horrendous head injury after the much publicised clash with Sheffield United’s Chris Morgan.

I am sure Iain will make a huge difference to our side.

It’s a pity that the loan arrangement with Preston North End means he cannot play against them next Tuesday at the Keepmoat.

If Dean gives him a run at Leyton Orient on Saturday he will more than make up for the playing time that is denied him on Tuesday.

I have fond memories of playing Orient, our first opponents back in the Football League.

It was a red hot August day, around 90F they said in the boardroom before we kicked off, and what a result we got on that day.

I knew after the 3-1 win that we would be looking at the old Division Three championship.

It was great to see our fantastic following on the day leap in the air when Leo Fortune-West popped in the first, ahead of many fine goals for us.

Then Greg Blundell scored a great diving header and Michael McIndoe found the net too.

I am back in time for Saturday’s match and I just hope we can get something out of it ahead of two home games.

I do hope you can come out and support us.

Finally, can I wish Doncaster RLFC all the very best on Sunday at Warrington in the Co-operative Championship One Grand Final with Barrow Raiders.

The Dons are on Premier TV on Sky and Doncaster Rovers Belles are also on ESPN later that afternoon taking on Arsenal Ladies in the Super League.

That’s great stuff for our partners here at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Rovers Till I Die

John Ryan