Rochdale Fan Preview

Colin Cavanah, Member of’s Unofficial Fans Forum, was kind enough to answer a few questions about his club ahead tonight’s visit…

What was the story of your season last year? Highs and lows…

Cliché aside, it was something of a rollercoaster season. We finished the previous year on a bit of a high having escaped relegation and sent our local rivals Oldham down in the process, and hopes were high going into the first game. All went according to plan, and I’m sure around 17 minutes into the first game of the season, we were singing about being top of the league.

That didn’t last and that optimism was chipped away at as the season went on, until we were staring relegation firmly in the face. Traditionally, we’ve always been something of a stable club (not long ago since we spent 472 consecutive years in Division Four) but we lost the Chairman just before Xmas, and then we sacked our manager Keith Hill, something that many, including myself, had previously thought to be unthinkable. It was a last throw of the dice, as relegation looked almost an inevitability but a string of fine results in the last few weeks of the season left us safe with a week to spare and a final league position which made you wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place.

Who’s your best player, ones to watch etc?

Our best player is as it has been for the past few years: Mr Ian Henderson. There was a stat doing the rounds on Twitter a few weeks after the end of the season that said he was responsible for just short of 50% of our goals, whether than be by scoring or through assists. Whilst it’s a great personal stat for him, it’s more a criticism of those around him. He’s 35 at his next birthday but he’s seeing no signs of slowing down, and he could easily be part of our team for the next three or four years at least. He’s likely to break our record for goals scored at some stage towards the end of the season, a record which has stood for 90ish years.

How do you think you’ll do against us next season?

We’ll give it a good go, lots of hustle and bustle and all that, and hope the breaks go our way.

How will you do overall this season?

We played some decent stuff towards the end of last season, and we wouldn’t have stayed up had he not been given the job so there are grounds for optimism. Issues and deficiencies elsewhere should at least ensure that we stay up. If we make the right signings, we could threaten the top half.