Okay, you guys don't need me to explain how exciting, thrilling and unbelievable the summer activity at the club has been. Phenomenal is a word that springs to my mind. We as supporters have gone from feeling totally depressed regarding the future of our club, to believing we have a very bright one short and long term.
We needed to bring in a significant number of players during the summer - that was a given - and despite having doubts the club would deliver on the front, we have signed an incredible 15 players to date. Most are very highly rated and the squad we currently have is a nice blend of experienced professionals and energetic youngsters. Definite cause for optimism. On top of that, we have a new back-room team who will strive to bring success to the club, which can only be a positive thing. Chairman Nick Higgs has also announced sensational news regarding a future Bristol Rovers stadium - the unique UWE Stadium. This, if delivered, promises to create a bright future for the club and ensures Rovers can compete at a high level for a number of years to come.
All of the above are fantastic pieces of individual news that can offer supporters plenty of encouragement. However, there's one particular change that has created a new spark of energy amongst the club and us supporters... the appointment of Paul Buckle.
His previous successes with Torquay have been well documented and the fact he has chosen to join Rovers ahead of staying at a club who reached the play-off final last year provides further optimism for the Rovers faithful. I was very pleased with his appointment and believed it was the right one for us, as he's a young and ambitious guy who is totally focussed on winning. That winning mentality, in my opinion, was something that needed to be installed in to all areas of the club following the lows of last season. However, I don't think anybody could have possibly imagined the impact he has made in such a short space of time.
He has rejuvenated the club and has made it an exciting place to be. He has a charisma about him that isn't all that common in football managers, particularly those who occupy jobs in the lower leagues, but is found in all successful gaffers worldwide. Jose Mourinho being a prime example. He has brought much needed positivity with his character and personality and has a certain aura about him that evokes optimism. He's a winner and you can't help but feel confident that he will bring success to the club.
It's not just how he comes across publicly that has made him so popular with the fans and those who work at the club. His decision making and decisiveness has seen a number of personnel changes that were much needed. As mentioned above, he has brought in 15 players who all bring real quality to the squad and play the game a certain way. He has persuaded players from higher levels to join the revolution and that bodes well ahead of the season's start against AFC Wimbledon. Attractive, attacking football has also been introduced, much to the delight of supporters, and this has just added to the expectations for next season.
All in all, it's been an overwhelming change at the club and it's not long until we see if it will come to fruition with results. It's seen a number of changes at the club for this to happen, but it's the Bucks factor that has really excited supporters ahead of August 6. Will he be the man to deliver promotion from League Two? I certainly hope so!