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CHRIS LINES ON PAUL TROLLOPE & LENNIE LAWRENCE

11 August 2016

Chris Lines admits he owes Paul Trollope and Lennie Lawrence a major debt of gratitude as the former Bristol Rovers' management duo prepare for a first return to the Memorial Stadium.

Trollope and Lawrence, who were in charge of team affairs at the Memorial Stadium for five years, are back on familiar ground with current club Cardiff City when they face Rovers in the EFL Cup first round live on Sky (Thursday).

Lines was only a 21-year-old not long out of Filton College when Trollope handed him a Football League debut as a late substitute in a game against Chester in 2006.

It was the start of a career that has so far taken in over 300 games and seen Lines win four promotions, and the midfielder said: "I'm always pleased to bump in to Paul and Lennie.

“They both played a big part in my career and I have a lot to thank them for. They showed a lot of faith in me when I was coming through in the early years of my career and they were the ones who gave me my first chance.

"They stuck with me in the seasons that followed through both good and bad and I had some great years here with them.

"I played in some good teams and it was a time that set me up to achieve the things I have done since then. It is amazing to think that a decade has passed since Trolls gave me my debut.

"I'm pleased that I managed to go on and have a career in the game. I look back to when I was a kid and remember all of the unbelievable players I used to play with and against and for one reason or another they have drifted away.

"I was lucky that I had a manager in Trolls who believed in and stuck with me when I was at an age where many young lads fail to quite kick on and make it."

Trollope's tenure came to an end in December 2010 midway through a season at the end of which Rovers were relegated back to League Two four years on from winning promotion.

"It was sad to see Trolls go," said Lines. "It was a tough one but we all know that results had not been great at that time.

"It was a struggle for the rest of that season because we had players playing for the team who did not really want to be here once Trolls left.

"The players have to take the majority of the blame for what happened but the whole season was just a shambles from start to finish."

Trollope, meanwhile, was soon added to the coaching staff at Birmingham City before following manager Chris Hughton to Norwich City.
Promotion to the Premier League followed before Trollope moved on to Cardiff to assist former manager Russell Slade on the training ground.
 
He has since succeeded Slade in the Cardiff City hot-seat and was part of the backroom staff as surprise package Wales reached the semi-finals of the European Championships.
 
"You could see from very early on that Trolls would go on and have a good career in coaching and management," said Lines.
 
"He is a meticulous manager who didn't leave any stone unturned in his preparation and he deserves all the success that he has enjoyed in recent years."

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