It has been revealed that a young Dale fan was given the opportunity of a life time before last month’s League One fixture v Yeovil Town.
Eight-year-old Thomas Farrington [pictured above], who happened to be staying in the same hotel as the team, was invited to the squad’s pre-match meeting by Manager Keith Hill and was given the chance to deliver his own team talk to the players.
Thomas, who is a season ticket holder at Spotland, jumped at the opportunity and prepared his team talk on his iPad, before taking to the floor with the Gaffer and addressing the players.
A pupil at St Vincent’s Primary School in Norden, Thomas ran through how he would like to see the team line-up for the match, as well as the tactics he’d like to see employed. We’ve managed to get our hands on what he had to say…
“Yeovil has a sloping pitch so we need to take advantage of this. We need to be strong and build on Tuesday nights win at Swindon.
“Without Peter [Vincenti] we need to build from the back and play up the wings with some good crosses so we can score some good goals. We need to be careful at the back not to give the ball away and the midfield needs to be strong.
“Hopefully Hendo has had some shooting practice after last weeks misses against Gillingham. Matty [Done] has not scored for a while so please pass the ball to him so he has lots of opportunities to get more goals.
“One of my favourite players is Olly [Lancashire]! He is always nice to me and comes over to say hello. Hope he is fit enough to play today and I would like Bastien to teach me about keeps ups as he is better than me only just.
“I play for Bridge Eagles under 9's as the goalkeeper and one day I want to play for Rochdale as they are the best team in the country. Good luck for today. And as we are away my mum and dad will let me stand with the lads so I can sing the songs but I'm not allowed to swear. My mum and dad are letting me be a mascot again at home soon and look forwards to seeing you all then.”
Thomas was of course rewarded with a 3-0 win at Huish Park and an Ian Henderson double!
Thomas’s Dad commented: “I’d like to thank Keith Hill and Chris Beech for allowing this to happen.
“You couldn’t pay for an experience like that and it’s one Thomas will never forget.
“It was a great score line and he was obviously delighted to see Hendo scoring two goals.”