If you take a look around Prenton Park or Merseyside in general. If you take a look at Tranmere supporter groups and have a chat to people who understand what the area stands for, or even if you understand what the majority of the modern world is all about then you will understand how key unity and a sense of belonging really is as more people choose to be and to behave with a greater sense of freedom.
This is something that Tranmere have done greatly over the past few years with the introduction of the Rover and Out team, bringing together those who could feel unaccepted in any other walk of life into being a part of a collective team and group.
This summer, the group has branched out and there has been a new football team founded which reflects all of this. Thus, I spoke to Adam Siddorn who is the Rover and Out football manager to understand more about the team, their plans for the future and much more.
Could we open our conversation by you telling me a bit about the club? What was the search for players and a place to play like?
It was quite difficult to start off with. We’re a branch off the Rover and Out supporter group and we basically started as a five-a-side team as we couldn’t get ten players but over time we put out invites for people to come down and train with us. It’s a really good group and its got people from all different backgrounds and genders. There’s an element of fun and competitiveness and we’ve gone from there to having a squad of over 15 different players to choose from.
Where are the games and where does the team train?
At the moment, we’re just moving to play on Friday nights at Solar Campus which is obviously Tranmere’s training ground. However, over the summer we’ve been playing at Birkenhead Park. We’ve so far had games in Chester, Wales, Liverpool, Ashville as well as being invited to international cup competitions up and down England even in Glasgow. This has given the squad the chance to have a good weekend away so a more enhanced social life as well as some football competitiveness.
You’re the manager of Wirral Radio’s football team and that is something you have great fun doing. However, what are the differences between that and Rover and Out? Also, what are the ideas that you want to project to the players?
It’s important that we don’t try to emulate what I’ve done with Wirral Radio as they’re a Sunday league team. Yes, we want some parts of it as in just doing things correctly and getting in the right people etc. However, we want to invite people of all different abilities and backgrounds to come down to this new team. I want this to be fun and I want this to be enjoyable. We’ve had someone aged 15 playing for us, we’ve had someone in their 50s playing for us and we’ve got a woman now who drives down from Manchester to access our club, from this she’s made a team in her area whilst commentating on the Women’s Premier League for a local radio station.
So would you say that the social aspect of this club means a little bit more than the results?
Well, obviously it’s nice to win but the social aspects are huge and we do our best to raise money for local charities when we have a game. Our chosen charity is the Martin Gallier Foundation in New Ferry, which is a suicide awareness charity. You’ve got to have a serious side but regardless of the level you’re playing at you need that social side, whether that be a night out or some time together and to add in raising some money for charity makes it even better.
In terms of challenges, if we can bring it back to your work with the Wirral Radio team. How does managing Wirral Radio compare to Rover and Out?
In terms of challenges they’re roughly the same but we have a range of abilities between those two squads. Something which I do though is get a player from the Radio team to come down to Rover and Out to train with them so they can learn, with no disrespect intended, from a higher quality player so they can potentially get better opportunities in the future.
The games that Rover and Out have, are they in a league? Also, how would you describe the standard of opposition in comparison with your team?
We’ve been playing friendlies against teams such as the Chester Hospice Charity Team who have many Chester fans playing for them, we’ve made great friends there. We’re currently in negotiations to start a North West inclusion league which is very exciting. The standard is very mixed but there’s been many opportunities for games so far through various competitions, leagues or friendlies.
It sounds like you have many opportunities and pathways for the future, there is a lot of things that you can do going forwards.
Yeah there is. We’ve touched on the social side of things and the games that we’ve played so far but it’s also important to say that people have made friends for life within this team. Peter Case and Paul Davies, alongside myself, do a really good job of running the club and without them we’d be buggered but they’re men who maybe wouldn’t have the opportunities to run teams elsewhere.
If anyone is hearing about the Rover and Out football team for the first time through this interview and want to show their support in some way, how could they go about doing this?
Well that’s the thing, you don’t even need to play! We’ve got a fan who’s a Tranmere fan and comes to every game and comes for a pint afterwards. You can find us on Twitter and Facebook. Anyone is welcome down, to come and play or to come and watch and socialise. Come down and enjoy a bit of football, semi non-competitive football and be a part of a family.
‘It’s more than a football match, it’s more than a team and it’s more than a club. That’s what makes it so good’. You can find Rover and Out on Twitter @roverandout.