Bristol Rovers legend Lee Mansell names best XI - includes strong contingent of Gas players
Rovers’ play-off winning midfielder made sure to include a number of Gas players in the best eleven of players that he played with
Bristol Rovers legend Lee Mansell has named his best XI of players he’s played with throughout his career and there is a strong Gas contingent.
The 39-year-old had a strong 17-year playing career playing mainly for Torquay United, as well as a three-year spell at the Memorial Stadium.
Mansell is now the manager of National League North side Gloucester CIty and is managing Rovers loan players like Ollie Hulbert and Lucas Tomlinson.
Appearing on the My Best Eleven podcast, hosted by one-club man Marvin Johnson and football journalist Andrew McMellon, Mansell chatted with the pair over his best XI as well as giving some interesting stories
No fewer than six players who turned out in the blue and white quarters have been included in the team with some legendary whilst others had a short stint.
In between the sticks, Mansell has gone with Steve Mildenhall, who he played with at Rovers but also came up aainst in the Football League. Mildenhall had originally joined on loan and kept Rovers up in League Two before they were relegated. He stayed and was part of the team that won-back to back promotions.
Interestingly, Tom Lockyer who has made his career as a centre-back, playing for Wales in that position, has been shoehorned in at right-back.
The 27-year-old, who most recently scored against Bristol City and goaded them with a hands to ears celebration, came through Rovers’ academy and made 285 appearances for the club.
Justifying his selection at placing him at full-back, Mansell said: “When I first signed for Rovers, he was a bit of a utility player and the year we got promoted, he played right-back out of the Conference”
“He’s just a really top notch lad. I’m so glad he’s gone on to have the career that he has had. His work ethic is second to none.”
Playing alongside Lockyer n defence at centre-back is Guy Branston who made a total of four appearances under Mark McGhee back in 2013.
Next in the team and placed on the right-hand side was Wayne Carlisle, though the two did not play at Rovers together.
Carlisle, who played two years for Rovers, scored 14 goals in 71 appearances, despite the tea being nearer of the bottom. It was at Torquay United where he'd cross paths with Mansell, playing two seasons there.
Named on the left-hand side of Mansell’s 4-4-2 then was Andy Monkhouse who mainly played for Hartlepool United in a 22-year playing career.
After eight full seasons at the Pools though, Monkhouse moved down South for the first and only time in his career to play in the non-league, helping the Gas gain promotion back to the Football League.
The 41-year-old scored eight times in 39 appearances that season but once the job was done, he moved back up north to sign for Grimsby Town, helping them win promotion the year after.
Matty Taylor, who made the controversial deadline day move across the city five years ago to join Bristol City is one of the strikers he’s named.
After rejecting offers from the Footbal League after leaving Forest Green Rovers, Taylor fired the gas to promotion with his 21 goals, successfully scoring his penalty in the shootout. Taylor then followed it up by netting 28 in a higher division as he was part of the side that won a second consecutive promotion.
He didn’t didn't let up there and by January he had 16 goals in 27 games but the red side of Bristol activated his £300,000 release clause, leaving the club without their top scorer.
Taylor failed to make an impact at Ashton Gate and is now back at his hometown team Oxford United and this season scored against Rovers, where he celebrated against his former side.
Lee Mansell’s Career XI: Steve Mildenhall, Tom Lockyer, Guy Branston, Curtis Davies, Kevin Nicholson, Wayne Carlisle, Eunan O’Kane, Matt Spring, Andy Monkhouse, Steve Howard, Matt Taylor.