Links with the teams we play next season
Rovers have links with every Conference club, though it has to be said that some of them are somewhat tenuous!
In part two of this brief look at the teams we will face in the season ahead, we move from Dartford to Grimsby.
Rovers have played Dartford once in a competitive fixture, winning 1-0 in an FA Cup tie back in 1934.
The most recent former Rovers player to turn out for Dartford is Ben Swallow.
Moving on to Dover Athletic and while we may never have played them in a competitive fixture, no fewer than seven players have played for both clubs, including Jason Harris (remember him?).
It may come as a surprise, but we have actually met Eastleigh once before, in an FA Cup tie played on 28th October 1899.
If you have a programme from that game, it will be worth quite a bit!
We have played a number of friendly fixtures against Forest Green Rovers and look forward to our first competitive match against them on Bank Holiday Monday, 25th August.
We reckon that some 48 players have appeared for both clubs, a list that includes Peter Aitken and Billy Clark.
Among players who have turned out for Rovers and Gateshead, another team we will be facing for the first time next season, are Chris Carruthers and Sonny Parker.
Our opening day fixture against Grimsby Town will be the 39th competitive game between the clubs.
The last time we played the Mariners was on 10th February 2007 when we went down 3-4. Craig Disley, now the Grimsby skipper, scored twice for Rovers that day.
Goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall is a former Grimsby player and one of 21 footballers to have played for both clubs.
Many thanks to Stephen Byrne for his help in compiling this article; a full list of Conference connections will be included in next season’s matchday programme ‘The Pirate’.