Well, let’s start with the positives. It can’t be as bad as last year… can it? After the doom-laden pages of the relegation special that was issue 108, now comes the unbridled optimism of a first fanzine issue of a new season.
Of course there is a touch of reflection on what went wrong for Rovers in 2021-22, with a couple of retrospective questions for our Fan Panel, and Dutch Uncle’s statistical overview of the campaign. But the bulk of this issue concerns itself with looking forwards, with Jack Peat feeling optimism from a pre-season trip to Nuneaton, Mike Follows giving you a run through Rovers’ many new recruits, Jacob Goodwin weighing up unfamiliar opposition, and Glen Wilson despairing at a horrific new away kit.
Off the back of England’s success in the summer’s European Championships we also offer some extra focus on women’s football as Glen Wilson nudges those of you who found yourselves getting into the game in your living rooms to get outside and back our own Belles. And Dave Waugh looks at the changing attitudes to the women’s game since he coached his university team in the 1970s. A mixed bag then, and plenty to enjoy again. Let’s just never speak of last season again, eh?
Here’s a fuller breakdown of what’s in issue 109…
Editorial: Glen Wilson hopes our latest fourth tier stint is as brief as our last, but isn’t optimistic
Bernard Glover’s Diary: Summer lovin’ happened so fats; luckily we wrote it all down for you
Spotted!: Current and former Rovrs players seen out and about
That’s Squad Numberwang: Some niche squad number based facts from 20 years of no longer wearing 1-11
The Fan Panel: Our sextet of supporters answer questions about the season ahead… and mascots
Marshall’s Matters: Rob Marshall takes us back to 1988 and another opening day fourth tier Yorkshire derby
Jacob’s Selection: What can we expect from our new divisional opponents? Jacob Goodwin gives us an idea
Waugh, Huh, Yeah: Prompted by England’s success at the Euros, Dave Waugh looks at changing attitudes to women’s football
Memorable Memorabilia: Mike Follows is getting ready to hand down an iconic Rovers shirt
The Belles, The Belles: Women’s football isn’t just for the summer, Glen Wilson nudges you towards the Belles
For Peat’s Sake: What is it about trips to Nuneaton that stir an air of expectation? Jack Peat explains
City Slicker?: Old Burgher contemplates what becoming a city might mean for the Rovers
Follows the Rovers: Mike Follows introduces you to Rovers newest recruits
Lazarus Comes Forth: Does opportunity come from times of crisis? Lazarus thinks, or hopes, it might
Howard’s Marks: Howard Bonnett is back on his non-league travels with a trip to Daisy Hill
From Beneath the Statue: It’s safe to say Glen Wilson isn’t exactly enamoured with the new away shirt
Windmills of Your Mind: Dutch Uncle takes a statistical look back at a disastrous season
For the 2022-23 season popular STAND is a subscription-based fanzine, however we have a small number of individual copies of issue 109 available for sale via our back issue page.