Nick on stadium and new signings
It has been an exciting few weeks here at the Memorial Stadium.
Off the field we achieved a massive milestone gaining planning permission for our stadium at UWE.
It was a fantastic moment for everyone involved in the project, but we have to bear in mind that this is still just half time in our cup final, it is absolutely vital that Sainsbury’s now get planning permission for the current Memorial Stadium site.
We are really proud of the design for the new stadium, which will be a fantastic home for Bristol Rovers and it will be a showcase stadium for the region capable of staging important events as well as football.
We now eagerly await the Sainsbury’s planning meeting, which we expect to take place in September. If all goes to plan, we could be on site early next year.
It as also been a busy period on the player front. Mark made it clear early on that his recruitment process was about bringing in quality and we have both been working hard to bring in an excellent calibre of player to the club.
We were delighted to complete the signing of David Clarkson last weekend. He has fantastic experience, which should be great for the other strikers at the club, and hopefully he will be a regular on the score sheet.
At the other end of the pitch, we have agreed terms with two international central defenders who should help make us a solid unit at the back.
Garry Kenneth is another player with great experience, whilst Rogvi Balvinsson is an exciting young prospect.
We are also in negotiations with German midfielder Fabien Broghammer, and hope to sign him up later in the week.
We have also had movement the other way, with Mustapha Carayol joining Middlesbrough. The deal has been on the cards for a long time, but I was not willing to let him go until I secured a deal that was right for Bristol Rovers.
Muzzy is an exciting player, and I know that a lot of you will be sad to see him go, but Middlesbrough have offered him a fantastic opportunity and we could not stand in his way and we wish him well.
We expect there to be further movement over the next few weeks, but I believe our squad is shaping up to be a real threat for next season.
Fitness levels have looked good throughout pre season so far, and I am sure that, like me, you cannot wait for the competitive fixtures to begin.