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Story posted: Wednesday, 15th March 2006

Fans Forum Transcript
The abridged transcript from the recent Fans Forum is now online. Held on Tuesday 21st February 2006 in the Gresley Rovers Social Club.
What's the chance of getting a Youth Team game on the Moat Ground before the end of the season?

Mark Evans (ME): Every chance. I have regular discussions with the head groundsman looking for a free Saturday so it is my intention to have one played before the end of the season.

How do you Gary see things going this year?

Gary Norton (GN): It's not going quite to plan at the moment if we are all honest but I've still got faith in this squad. If we can keep the home advantage, Saturday against Fleetwood was only our second home defeat in the league this season; I still think we can reach the play offs. I was looking at the away games earlier today and we've thrown points away through individual errors and the odd bad performance. Three of those games we could have no complaints when we were beaten but the other games we've let in last minutes goals, given penalties away and we've lost by the odd goal. We seem to lose concentration and let in sloppy goals. We are not a bad side; we've got a good set of players. The top two in the league seem to be getting away but I think third place is still a possibility. A good run of results, and I still think we've got it in us; it's down to us.

What's happening with the proposed Midland League?

ME: The UniBond League are still deciding whether to challenge the FA ruling that the new league will be administered by the Southern League. I haven't heard any more only that the FA have agreed to create the league. There has been a ballot of the UniBond clubs and I believe there was just one objection and on the basis of the huge majority UniBond are looking to go for control of the Midland League. One of the worries the UniBond clubs have is where the boundaries will be. The Midlands area can be defined to suit different opinions. Originally the Western division didn't go down as far as it did before we left the Southern League. It changed because of the amount of clubs joining from the southwest.

It is worrying that we could still have the same situation were we have a Midland League defined that still sends us a significant way down to the southwest.

GN: If you remember the whole re-organisation originally was done to reduce the amount of travelling clubs have to undertake. I remember the first season when we moved from the Southern to the Northern League the travelling was about the same if not even more over the course of the season. I understand that this next level is to try and improve things for clubs but my own personal preference I'd prefer our league to stay under the leadership of the UniBond League because from an administration and organisational point of view it's a very well run league.

If we were fortunate to get promotion could we afford to go up?

ME: You should always cut your cloth to the level you can afford and even within the professional game there are huge differences between the top clubs and the amounts of money they spend and the lower clubs and the money they spend. If you do it wisely and you plan well and you accept you are not going to run a way with it from day one you can become a club that works hard and accepts success in small steps. It would be unfair for Gresley after putting in so much hard work and the time and dedication of so many that when we achieve the fantastic position of being promoted we would deny it on the basis that we couldn't afford it. We have to set our expectations to a reasonable level but that must include obviously the desire to be promoted. This debate is similar to the ones we have in our lives; can we or can't we afford to move house; have children etc but we have to move on. This is a progressive club and part of that progression has to be promotion. I can understand clubs that do not want to be promoted because of various reasons but I would not want to deny Gresley supporters if we get to that point. The board would need to set the budget and make finances available and we would have to work harder to raise more money but we would take the sensible decision of setting a budget that could be sustained and then obviously the manager would have to work with it.

I'd rather go up and set a realistic budget and work hard than not and then always wonder if we would have been able to do it.
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
10 Highgate United 29 -3 38
11 South Normanton Athletic 26 0 37
12 Worcester City 26 11 36
13 AFC Wulfunians 31 -6 36
14 Coventry Sphinx 25 -19 34
15 Tividale 23 -4 27
16 Haughmond 29 -29 26
17 Racing Club Warwick 24 -29 24
18 Lye Town 28 -31 18
19 Gresley 26 -22 16
20 Selston 25 -38 13

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