The latest from the Rovers Chairman Nick HiggsI'm sure you would all like to join me in congratulating Darrell Clarke on winning the Vanarama Conference Manager of the Month Award for December.
It's the second time this season he has picked up the monthly accolade and I am very pleased that his hard work has once again been recognised by the Vanarama Conference Awards Panel.
The efforts put in by Darrell, his staff, and the players should not be underestimated and will stand us in good stead for the remainder of the season.
We were unbeaten in five December league games and started the New Year with a draw and a win, with the game against Nuneaton being the fifth game played by the team in just over two weeks.
The fact that we controlled last Sunday's game from start to finish was, I believe, testament to the fitness of the players and the hard work they have put in on the training ground all season.
Three of the players we have had with us on loan, Dave Martin, Alex Wall and Fabian Spiess, have now returned to their parent clubs and I would like to thank them for their efforts whilst they were with us and wish them every success in the future.
Darrell and his staff have been working hard behind the scenes finalising our recruitment policy for the January transfer window and we hope to be in a position to announce one, or possibly two, new signings early next week.
We will continue to back, and support, Darrell as he moves to strengthen our squad for the final 16 games the season as we attempt to return to the Football League at the first time of asking.
I make no apologies for mentioning, once again, young Oskar Pycroft in my notes. As you are aware, Oskar has bilateral spastic cerebral palsy and he and his family are attempting to raise £50,000 for an operation that, hopefully, will enable him to walk unaided.
Oskar and his Mum, Lizzy, were guests of the club on New Year's Day for our game against Torquay United when a bucket collection saw £4,198 donated by Rovers and Torquay supporters. This was added to the proceeds from a Supporters Club quiz night and a donation from the Fans Forum making a total in excess of £4,650 raised towards the final total required.
Thank you all for your incredible generosity in boosting the appeal. Everyone at Bristol Rovers hopes that Oskar soon reaches his target and that his operation is successful.
Thanks, also, to all of you for the way you have got behind the team, not just in recent weeks, but since the start of the season. Our support, home and away, is the envy of many Football League clubs, let alone those in the Vanarama Conference. Your backing really does make a difference and is appreciated by Darrell and the players.