Rosenior: return to the city could spur Tigers on to great things
FORMER Gloucester City boss Leroy Rosenior is 'desperately hoping' the Tigers receive positive news at Tuesday night's landmark planning meeting.
Plans for the club's new £5 million community stadium will finally go before Gloucester City Council planners, more than five years after the club were forced out of their Meadow Park home.
And Rosenior, who took charge of the Tigers for 148 matches in a two-year spell as manager between March 1996 and October 1998, has joined calls for the Tigers to be granted permission to return home.
"I desperately hope things go the way the club want and they get their new home," Rosenior said.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
"It's unbelievable to think it's been five years, that's an incredibly long time to be away.
"It's not just the team and the fans, it's about laying down roots in the community and being able to carry on the proud history the club has.
"Good luck to them, I hope things go well and that finally the club can move forward again.
"For the past five years I imagine everyone at the club feels as though they have a rucksack and a sleeping bag, travelling from place to place."
Rosenior holds fond memories of his two years with the Tigers, a spell in which the club came within a whisker of earning promotion to the Football Conference and earning a trip to Wembley in the FA Trophy.
He remembers Meadow Park as not just a football ground but as a hub for the club's youth and reserve teams and for football in the city.
He admits to feeling heartbroken at seeing images of the flood waters kissing the crossbar in front of the T-End – the place he held an emotional farewell with the City faithful after his last game as boss – a 10-0 win over Sudbury Town in October 1998.
"We always used to look forward to home games, we had a terrific pitch and great facilities and the fans used to really get behind us," Rosenior added.
"It was such a shame to see that ground under water as that's not the memory that first comes to mind of the place.
"We used to train around the back of the ground and have the bar and social club there. It was the hub of the club."
Rosenior left City to take up a role as reserve team boss at Bristol City and it was from there that he took up the role as manager of League Two club Torquay United in 2002.
In his four years in Devon, Rosenior formed a reputation as one of the brightest young managers in the Football League, leading the unfashionable Gulls to promotion in 2003.
The 48-year-old saw plenty of similarities between the Gulls and Gloucester during his stint as Torquay boss and is confident that, if planning permission is granted, the sky is the limit for the Tigers.
"Gloucester is the biggest city in the country never to have a football league club. We used to have crowds around 2,500 for the really big games we had," Rosenior said.
"When I had some success with Torquay in the Football League, that was on crowds of the 2,500 as well, and they wore yellow too.
"It was the same kind of set-up there, a lovely ground with lovely people around the club and it was a big part of the community as well.
"You only have to look down the road and see what's happened at Cheltenham to see what could be possible.
"Unfortunately, we just missed out when I was manager, but you never say never.
"Hopefully somebody has the ambition to take the club on as it's in a beautiful city that's right in the heart of the country.
"You can get players in from all directions and if they can take that first big step and get a new ground then who knows what's possible."