Bristol Rovers Want to Forge Closer Links with Bristol City

Discussion in 'Bristol City' started by wizered, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. wizered

    wizered Ol' Mucker
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    Exclusive: Why Bristol Rovers want to forge closer links with Bristol City
    Head of recruitment Tommy Widdrington has called for a truce

    Since joining Bristol Rovers in the summer of 2018, Tommy Widdrington's mission has been to sign the best available players for Bristol Rovers, while improving the team and gradually decrease a wage budget that had spiralled out of control.

    The fruits of Widdrington's labour lies in many of the outstanding individuals within Graham Coughlan's squad who, in tandem with significant hands-on coaching and tactical input from the manager, have improved the Gas after relatively minimal expenditure.

    Jonson Clarke-Harris, Abu Ogogo, Tom Davies, Josh Hare, Anssi Jaakkola and Ed Upson have all arrived on Widdrington's watch, while high wage earners such as Stefan Payne, Tom Lockyer (admittedly of his own volition), Sam Slocombe, and Daniel Leadbitter have been moved on.

    In an exclusive interview with Bristol Live, which you can read HERE, Widdrington has detailed the full extent of Rovers' recruitment operation, his positive relationship with Coughlan and how the club have made huge strides in an area largely unseen to supporters.

    Widdrington's remit includes working within strict financial parameters with the need of maximising the resources available while seeking to put them in a sound football and financial position for the years ahead.

    Bristol City are one of the most prolific loaning clubs within the Championship, with 10 players on temporary hire around the EFL including, most notably, midfielders Liam Walsh at Coventry and Joe Morrell with Lincoln City plus goalkeeper Max O'Leary at Shrewsbury.

    Relations between the clubs have been tense since Matty Taylor's departure from the Mem to Ashton Gate in January 2017 but Widdrington believes bridges need to be built for the betterment of Bristol Rovers.

    As the former Southampton midfielder admits, City would surely be appreciative of the opportunity to send some of their best talent to a League One club in an area that is easily accessible for them to monitor, while for the Gas, the benefits are obvious.

    "Whether the fans like to hear this or not, I'd like to see there be a little more of a cordial relationship between the clubs - we can help them and they can help us," Widdrington told Bristol Live.

    "I can't comment on that [the Matty Taylor transfer] because I wasn't here, but certain people at this club will say the right thing wasn't done on one or two occasions.

    "I have no problem with anybody at Bristol City, I know a lot of the staff there including (loans manager) Brian Tinnion. Our knowledge of them is as good as their knowledge of us, because they come and watch our games every week.

    "We don't necessarily watch their games because we're fishing in a different pond but there might be people who they want to get out on loan to develop and they could improve us.

    "I come from Newcastle, so I completely get the rivalry and the politics but, ultimately, we want to improve as a football club and get better on the pitch and I want to do that in any which way we can."

    Graham Coughlan has been seen regularly at Bristol City Under-23 matches and he and his staff have a good relationship with Lee Johnson and his coaches.

    As Widdrington says, there is absolutely no reason why stronger lines of communication cannot exist - beyond the political and tribal divide between supporters that many would say is paramount in terms of importance.

    From City's point of view, it is a prospect they would undoubtedly be open to but, based on Johnson's comments in August, a thaw in relations is required.

    "I know there has been interest in our young players from Bristol Rovers - I don't know what the historic feeling about that would be," Johnson said.

    "But our port of call would always be to do the right thing by the player. I'm not sure how that would be received at any of the other local clubs but generally we have good relations with the local clubs bar one."

    When asked by Bristol Live, if Widdrington's idea is something Bristol City would be open to, CEO Mark Ashton said: "We have Brian in place as loan manager but everyone has input into the boys' placement.

    "I couldn't look at you and say we shouldn't have a relationship with Bristol Rovers.

    "I look at the clubs I've been at in the past: West Brom, would we have loaned players to Aston Villa or Wolves - yes, we probably would have at times. If it's the right player, the right fit and the right club I wouldn't exclude anybody."

    https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/sport/football/exclusive-bristol-rovers-want-forge-3579775
     
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  2. Loathsneyd

    Loathsneyd Well-Known Member

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    This article is a bit outdated seeing Coughlin is no longer their manager
     
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  3. wizered

    wizered Ol' Mucker
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    I'm quite aware of that but the individual making the point is in the first line of the article but thank's for pointing out that Coughlin has left and joined Mansfield.
    'Head of recruitment Tommy Widdrington has called for a truce'

    I am just trying to find different aspects about our team to keep the interest alive for all of our members, worldwide until we are over this awful period, so forgive from a local point of view if some of the reports are old news.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  4. bcfcredandwhite

    bcfcredandwhite Well-Known Member

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    I don’t have a problem with this.
     
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  5. Angelicnumber16

    Angelicnumber16 Well-Known Member

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    I don't have an issue with it either in terms of cordial communications, but overall I just don't see what's in it for us ?
     
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  6. Reliant Robin TC2

    Reliant Robin TC2 Active Member

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    Seems like common sense to me - therefore it wouldn't work in a lot of people's eyes!
     
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  7. johngalleyfan2

    johngalleyfan2 Well-Known Member

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    :emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes::emoticon-0148-yes:
     
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  8. AshtonRed

    AshtonRed Well-Known Member

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    I don’t have an issue with a more cordial relationship with them. The incident with Marty Taylor seems to have soured relation recently, but even before that I don’t remember historically we’ve loaned players to them. I guess if it benefits the individual player and Bristol City then why not ?. To rule using them out seems counterproductive although I would be reluctant to help them too much. On balance I think they have more to gain than we have, so I wouldn’t want to overdo it , but on an individual basis if it is best for the player and Bristol City why not.
     
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  9. johngalleyfan2

    johngalleyfan2 Well-Known Member

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    IT IS THE CLUB RIVALRY via fans that is usually the issues ………..
     
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