Chairman John Ryan was visibly beaming at the club’s annual photoshoot yesterday, and Rovers Player caught up with him for the first time since Saturday’s League Cup tie against York City.
Not only did the day mark the beginning of the footballing calendar, but it also was a memorable day in the history of Doncaster Rovers.
Along with fellow shareholder Terry Bramall, John received the keys to the Keepmoat Stadium from Mayor Peter Davies to mark the club taking control of the stadium.
John spoke of his delight on securing the stadium for Doncaster Rovers.
‘I must admit it’s a nice feeling,’ he said.
‘I picked Dick Watson up and drove to the stadium for the photoshoot earlier today, and it was great looking at the stadium and knowing that this is now in the ownership of Doncaster Rovers on a 99 year lease – I’m very happy indeed’.
‘It’s a great step forward for the club, and we also have secured the training ground too, so we thank the Mayor and the council for helping us with this. It obviously takes the expense away from them, but it means now it is our official home.’
Speaking about the game against York, John revealed he was happy to progress to the next round against a team that Rovers have not seen much success against in the cup.
‘It was a tough encounter,’ he said.
‘We’ve come across York City three times before in the League Cup and lost every time, so it was nice to win even though we scraped through on penalties, it was still a win!
‘Hopefully we will get a good draw in the next round. I would love to have a cup run like we had a few years ago when we beat Man City, Aston Villa and only lost to Arsenal on penalties, but the reality is that you are judged over the season on your league form, and we would really like to be up there challenging this season.
‘We’ve brought in some quality players, although we haven’t got a lot of players as yet but we are still looking. The first eleven looks strong but, hopefully, as the season goes on we will get stronger and stronger.
‘I missed the game against Hull City, but by all accounts we played really well in the second half, and we were certainly equal to Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley, bearing in mind they’re playing in the Championship.
‘Our start last season was Brighton away and then West Ham at home, and this year it’s Walsall away and Bury at home. It’s a bit of a difference but, nevertheless, every game has got to be won and I hope we are going to win a lot of games this season.’
In what promises to be an entertaining season John has urged supporters to back the team and turn up in numbers and get the Keepmoat rocking.
‘The supporters need to turn up in numbers to our new home, but they also need to make some noise!
‘Let’s back the spirit of us being ‘a pub team having a laugh’. I thought that about York, because their away fans were fantastic. I know our away fans are fantastic too but it would be nice to get the Keepmoat rocking a bit more!'
Watch the full interview on Rovers Player HERE