March 30, 2015
Goals review
For a change, we begin at international level for our review of former Doncaster Rovers players scoring goals this week.
On Friday evening, Giles Barnes scored on his international debut for Jamaica as they came from behind to beat Venezuela 2-1 in a friendly in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Barnes levelled matters in the 15th minute, just two minutes after Jamaica conceded. They have another game, against Cuba, on Monday.
Moving a little closer to home, Sean Thornton earned a point for Drogheda in their home game against Limerick on Tuesday, despite his side playing an hour of the game with ten men. Thornton equalised with a free kick into the top corner to salvage a point.
Also during the week Billy Paynter got on the score sheet on Wednesday evening as Carlisle United cruised into the final of the Cumberland Cup with a 5-1 victory over Carlisle City. Paynter struck after the break to put Carlisle back in front, being one of six first team professionals included in the side as he hopes to force his way back into the first team picture after being stuck on the sidelines for much of the season.
With no Premier League or Championship games this weekend, we turn our attention to League One, where a late goal by Sam Hird earned all three points for Chesterfield in their home game against Walsall.
There was a spectacular start to his Scunthorpe career for Theo Robinson, who only moved to the club on loan from Rovers on Thursday. He scored in the first minute of their game at Notts County - but the Iron had to come back from behind to nick a point with an 86th minute goal to level things at 2-2.
It was a mixed day for James Hayter, who scored for Yeovil Town in the 56th minute of their game at Rochdale. His goal was the third goal in a five minute spell - he also had the misfortune to miss from the penalty spot, which proved costly as Yeovil lost 2-1.
In League Two, Adebayo Akinfenwa got back on the score sheet for AFC Wimbledon in their 1-1 draw at Tranmere Rovers.
In the Conference Premier, Jon Parkin had a very similar day to James Hayter, scoring from the penalty spot in the 14th minute and then having another spot kick saved by the Lincoln City keeper just before half time. Since Forest Green won the game 2-1, at least that penalty miss was not as costly as Hayter's.
Also in the Conference Premier, Josh Payne scored an 84th minute winner for Woking in their 3-2 victory at at Chester FC.
Finally, also in the Conference, Michael Rankine scored in the 32nd minute for Gateshead, as part of their 3-2 home defeat to Eastleigh.
March 30, 2015
Lincoln City 0 Youth Team 2
Doncaster Rovers' youth team kept their recent good run of results going on Friday by defeating Lincoln City, although they left it late, with two late goals sealing the points.
The first half had few chances, with McKay's effort just before the break being the pick of the bunch, but his shot went just over the bar.
Rovers were forced to replace their goalkeeper just after the break when Iveson took a blow to the face three minutes into the half when challenging for the ball when Lincoln skipper Liam Harris was clean through on goal. Iveson was replaced by young keeper Louis Jones for the remainder of the half. Jones had a jittery start, being dispossessed on the edge of the penalty area, but the Rovers defenders were back to back up their inexperienced colleague. The introduction of Alex Head livened things up, with his influence quickly seen as his direct free kick rattling the crossbar before it bounced clear.
Rovers finally scored through Paul McKay, who latched on to a square ball from Michael Carberry, and they doubled their lead after a defensive mix-up by Lincoln. McCormick gained possession, with the ball passed to Joseph Pugh and then to Fixter, who was making his debut, who slotted the ball past the on-rushing goalkeeper to score.
Lincoln City: Walton, Grundy, Stewart, Wright, Cooke, Griffin, Harper, Fewkes, Millington, Barr-Rostron, Harris
Substitutes: Loftus (for Griffin, 46), McMenamy (for Harris, 60), Thompson Anderson
Doncaster Rovers: Iveson, Greasley, Carberry, Linley, P. McKay, Mbuti, Longbottom, Parkin, Pugh, Williamson, McCormick
Substitutes: Jones (for Iveson, 48), Head (for Parkin, 70), Fixter (for Longbottom, 70), Barker, Walker
March 30, 2015
Burge impresses on trial
Former Rovers midfielder Ryan Burge has impressed while playing in a trial game for Cheltenham Town's reserves against their counterparts from Plymouth Argyle.
Burge has been without a club since leaving Port Vale last summer, and tried to get himself fixed up with a club in South Africa, but that came to nothing, so he has returned to England and the trial game could mean that he can sign for his hometown club. While Burge and another trialist, Andrew Ntambwe, impressed in the 3-0 win for Cheltenham, Town are waiting before making a decision on whether to sign either player.
Cheltenham coach Jamie Victory commented after the game: "We know a lot about Ryan anyway, but he did well and Andre also looked bright and sharp. We will sit down as a staff over the next couple of days and talk it over to see what we do next."
March 30, 2015
Stock misses end of season
Former Rovers midfielder Brian Stock will miss the final few games of the season after his club, Havant & Waterlooville, were unsuccessful in their appeal against a straight red card shown to him during their recent game against Ebbsfleet. Brian was eligible to play in this weekend's game at Chelmsford, but then starts a five match ban, which rules him out of the final games of Havant's Conference South season, as well as the first game of the play-offs, should they qualify.
The video footage proved inconclusive and the club will not be appealing against the suspension.
Stock has been sent off three times this season, although the latest instance was the first time he was shown a straight red card, with the previous two occasions being for a second bookable offence.
He signed a new two-year deal with the Hawks earlier this month.
March 28, 2015
Robinson joins Scunthorpe
Doncaster Rovers striker Theo Robinson has joined Scunthorpe United on loan until the end of the season.
The Jamaican international joined on "loan transfer day" to help the Iron pull away from the relegation places, and is set to make his debut for them against Notts County this afternoon.
Robinson has only occasionally featured for Rovers this season, and has had to settle for a place on the bench after the return to fitness of Nathan Tyson.
He has scored nine goals in 32 appearances since joining Rovers in August 2013.
Rovers now have just three recognised strikers at the club - Curtis Main, Nathan Tyson and Jonson Clarke-Harris - with the latter on loan from Rotherham United, who can recall him at 24 hours notice after 9th April. It could be the opportunity for youth team striker Liam Mandeville to be given a chance in the senior squad in the closing games of the season, should any of the club's other strikers be unavailable.
Robinson could be recalled for Rovers' final two games of the season, once his initial month at Glanford Park has passed. Rovers play Scunthorpe in the final game of the season on 3rd May and we presume that he will not be permitted to play for Scunthorpe in that game. Theo is one of a number of players whose contracts expire at the end of the season.
March 28, 2015
Dickov to check out Bantams
Doncaster Rovers boss may be disappointed that this afternoon's promotion encounter against MK Dons has been postponed, but he will take full advantage of the afternoon off to do some scouting on next Friday's opponents, Bradford City.
He told the Doncaster Star: "I’d have loved the game to be on. We got back on track at Coventry and that second half performance gave us something to build on, so it’s disappointing to have to wait."
"On the flip side, it allows us to get two more weeks of training into James Coppinger. It also gives the lads who were nursing knocks - Reece Wabara and Nathan Tyson - a bit of time to get themselves right. I went to watch Oldham against Rochdale on Tuesday night, and on Saturday I’m going to Bradford against Oldham. I’m also going to Bradford’s game with Chesterfield next Tuesday. The focus for us has to be next Friday, we cannot affect what other teams do. You just have to look at Oldham beating Rochdale 3-0 this week to realise anything can happen in this league. Rochdale had been flying. It’s a crazy league but all we can do is get our own house in order. We’ll be doing everything in our power to make sure we’re fully prepared for the Bradford game.”
March 28, 2015
Tickets for MK Dons game
This afternoon's away game at MK Dons may have been postponed, but tickets for the game will remain on sale from the Keepmoat Stadium's ticket office until the day before the game will be played on Tuesday, 21st April.
All tickets already sold for the game will be valid for the new date, and if anyone who bought a ticket cannot attend on 21st April, they should apply to the ticket office for a refund.
Ticket prices for the game are:
Adults £20 - Senior Citizens (65+) £15 - Disabled (ambulant) & carer £15 - Under 18s £6
Any wheelchair disabled supporters wanting a ticket for the game will need to phone MK Dons direct on 01908 622900.
March 28, 2015
Furman waits for decision on future
Dean Furman has remained in England after Rovers requested that he remain with his club to concentrate on the promotion challenge from League One via the end of season play-offs.
Dean explained: "SAFA had allowed me to remain in the UK based on a request from my team due to the hectic run into the end of the season. It’s a hugely important time for the club and we need everyone fit and ready to fight for the final eight games. We are three points off the playoffs and we have to give it everything to try get into the top six.”
Furman's contract runs out a the end of the season. He explained:“My contract is finished at the end of the season,” he told Udo Carelse on Cape Talk. As yet we didn’t have any talks, we are just purely concentrating on hopefully having a good run-in towards the end of the season. And then I’m sure once the season has finished we will have some talks where my future lies."
"It’s very hard to say. I’m very happy at Doncaster, it’s a great club and fantastic people there, but obviously there’s a lot more to that goes into where you will be next year, but that’s something I’ll discuss with the club and my representatives come the end of the season. It’s a little bit out of my hands at the moment, but I just need to keep my head down, focus on my football and keep on playing well and hopefully things will sort themselves out in the end."
March 26, 2015
Gateshead 3 Development XI 2
Two goals from Harry Middleton in the second half of yesterday's Development XI game at Gateshead was not enough to save Doncaster Rovers from defeat at the Gateshead International Stadium.
Rovers had introduced three new faces into their side for the game, but received a set-back after just 24 minutes when Rob Jones limped off the field to be replaced by Paul McKay.
With Rovers still reorganising themselves, Gateshead took full advantage of their disorganisation for Orrell to get through on goal and slot the ball past Marosi.
It became 2-0 just before half time, with Saint-Luce making a run through the Rovers defence. In a one-on-one against Marosi, he squared the ball for Orrell to score.
Just six minutes into the second half, it was 3-0 to the home team, with Saint-Luce again causing Rovers problems as he worked his way through the defence before selecting his spot and giving Marosi no chance with his shot.
Rovers pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after Brobbel was fouled in the area, with skipper Harry Middleton sending the goalkeeper the wrong way. It became 3-2 minutes later when Middleton scored from the edge of the area.
Chances in the closing stages were scarce for either side.
Gateshead: Alex Baird, Ryan Lamb, Ryan Wilson, Dean Briggs, Tom Allan, Dillon Morse, Mechack Kanda, Matty Briggs, Kevin Sainte-Luce, Jake Orrell, Liam Thear
Substitutes: Andrew White, Jack Wilson, John Ackroyd, Davis Keillor, Micky Cummins
Doncaster Rovers: Marko Marosi, Mitchell Lund, Cedric Evina, Jamie McCombe, Rob Jones, Alex Head, Jordan Linley, Harry Middleton, Jonathyn Quinn, Ryan Brobbel, Joe Kerridge
Substitutes: Paul McKay (for Jones, 24), Matty Parkin (for Linley, 64), Ben Greasley (for McCombe, 77), Joseph Pugh, Michael Carberry
March 26, 2015
O'Driscoll - let's qualify in style
Former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll, now manager of the England under-19s, is hoping that his team can qualify for the Euro Championships in style by winning all of their three remaining qualifying matches.
England face three games before the end of the month, with Denmark the opposition this evening, followed by Azerbaijan on Saturday, and France next Tuesday. The top placed team progress through to the last eight in Greece in July.
O'Driscoll has taken an 18-man squad to France, where all three games will be played.
He said before the squad left for France: "The players are well aware that they need to perform this week, but I’d like to think that they would look at these next three games and think they are all winnable – and they will want to win them in style. If they play with as much freedom, as much intelligence and as much commitment as they played in their previous games then I’ll be delighted. No England U19s team has ever won this championship. We told the players that at the start of the season and we reminded them of it again. I’m not saying we will win it, but that is the challenge."
March 26, 2015
Voucher offer for Bradford game
Season ticket holders will be able to use Voucher L out of their season ticket book to bring a friend to the game for a reduced admission charge of £10.
With both teams vying for a promotion place, and Bradford reaching the quarter finals of the FA Cup this season, it should prove a good game with both teams hoping to win.
The game will be played on Good Friday, 3rd April with a 7.45pm kick-off. Vouchers will need to be exchanged for a match ticket at the ticket office, and supporters are encouraged to do so ahead of match day to avoid delays.
March 26, 2015
Barnes gets international call-up
Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Giles Barnes has received his first call-up to the Jamaican national team for two friendly fixtures this weekend. The Reggae Boys will play Venezuela on Friday, and Cuba on Monday, with both games at the Montego Bay Sports Complex in Jamaica.
Although born in London, Giles has Jamaican ancestry and formally completed the paperwork necessary at the end of last year.
Barnes now plays for Houston Dynamo as a forward and has scored 21 goals in 74 appearances for Dynamo, and has made 48 consecutive starts in all competitions for his club.
The call-up means that Barnes will miss Houston's home game against Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
March 25, 2015
York City 0 Youth Team 1
Doncaster Rovers' youth team won on Saturday, despite having to play most of the second half against York City with ten men following Michael Carberry's sending off for a second bookable offence.
Despite the recent good results, Rovers are still in fourth place behind leaders Bradford City, who are followed by Chesterfield and Hull City in the Youth Alliance North East Conference, with Rovers trailing Bradford by five points.
It took some good goalkeeping by Jack McLaren, who was celebrating his call-up to the Northern Ireland under-19 squad, to keep York from scoring and the first half ended goalless. McLaren was replaced at half time after picking up an injury during the first half , but it took until the 78th minute for the deadlock to be broken, with Alex Head converting from the penalty spot after Liam Mandeville was fouled.
York City: Price, Salmon, Bowkett, Hardey, Morley, Wilson, Rzonla, Fielding, Hirst, Collis, Freer
Substitutes: Kennedy (for Morley, 82), Britton (for Fielding, 65), Whitley, Jefferson, Wilson
Doncaster Rovers: McLaren, Greasley, Carberry, Head, P. McKay, Mbuti, Longbottom, Parkin, Pugh, Mandeville, Linely
Substitutes: Jones (for McLaren, 46), Barker, Fielding, Walker
March 25, 2015
Curtis enjoying run in team
Rovers striker Curtis Main is enjoying having a run in the starting eleven after a frustrating first half of the season, with an early injury keeping him on the sidelines for most of the first two months of the campaign.
He has responded by hitting his tenth goal of the season last week, after scoring just once in 15 games earlier in the season.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "This is probably the first time since I came back from injury that I’ve had a really good spell in the team. I’ve managed to come in and do a half decent job for the team and score a few goals. Getting into double figures last Tuesday night was pleasing. I’m just enjoying playing."
"It was frustrating getting injured so early in the season but that’s part of the job. I found it difficult coming back and I was in and out of the side and not getting a run. That’s football though. I feel good now. I’ve played the last few games and I hope to continue what I did on Saturday."
March 25, 2015
McCormack pulls out of Scotland squad
Ex-Rovers loan striker Ross McCormack has withdrawn from the Scotland squad for their games against Northern Ireland and Gibraltar after suffering a knee injury while playing for Fulham against another of his former clubs, Leeds United, at the weekend.
Fulham boss Kit Symons said on Saturday: "He got a whack on his knee the first time he went down and the physio assessed him. He came over to the bench and he said he was fine and wanted to carry on. But then the second whack on it meant he had to come off. We will know more soon but it is certainly sore at the moment."
March 25, 2015
Goals review
Ex-Rovers striker Jonathan Forte scored his 15th goal of the season for Oldham Athletic last night, getting Oldham's second goal in their 3-0 home win over Rochdale, who remain just ahead of Rovers on goal difference in the League One table. Oldham move up to 11th, just one point adrift of Rovers.
In the Conference Premier, Josh Payne scored Woking's second goal in their 3-2 home win over Torquay United. Woking move up to sixth, just one place and one point away from the play-off places.
Five leagues further down in the NCEL Division One, Liam Nelthorpe scored for Shirebrook Town in their 4-0 away win at Yorkshire Amateur. Shirebrook are now fourth, only three points away from the top of the Division One table.
Finally, we notice that ex-Rovers skipper Brian Stock was sent off for the third time this season on Saturday early in the second half while playing for Havant and Waterlooville against Ebbsfleet - although it was his first straight red card of the campaign. The Hawks' manager, Lee Bradbury, confirmed that the club will be appealing against the sending off, and said: "Since joining Brian has been very influential and we have to wait and see what the FA decide. It is his first straight red card and he is not a malicious player. Hopefully the FA can see through what happened and see sense. It would be a big blow if we lose him for the crucial run-in."
March 24, 2015
Ryan called up by England
Former Doncaster Rovers loan midfielder Ryan Mason has been called up to the full England squad by boss Roy Hodgson.
He is one of five players from Tottenham Hotspur in the squad, with Ryan's call-up coming after Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana withdrew due to a groin injury.
He has been attracting attention all season after finally managing to hold down a regular first team place at White Hart Lane. Prior to that, Ryan had been out on loan at Leyton Orient, Millwall and Swindon Town as well as at Rovers, with a short spell at French club Lorient.
We congratulate Ryan on his achievement.
March 24, 2015
MK Dons game off
Saturday's away game at MK Dons has been called off due to international call-ups. The late addition of MK Dons player Lee Hodson to the squad means that the Dons now have three players away on international duty, with three being required to entitle a club to request a postponement.
Rovers also have defender Luke McCullough away with Northern Ireland next week.
The game has been rearranged for Tuesday, 21st April with a 7:45pm kick-off. All tickets are valid for the new date, but presumably refunds will be available if you cannot attend the game.
March 24, 2015
Furman released by South Africa
Rovers midfielder Dean Furman has been released from the South African squad for their two forthcoming friendlies.
Rovers made the request so that he will be available for all of their forthcoming League One games as they strive to reach the end of season play-offs.
National boss Shakes Mashaba explained: “We stated long ago that it’s very important for players and clubs (to communicate). We are human beings, we understand their situation and that players aren’t just absconding. They need to write letters and this and that, but it’s a normal procedure and a professional way of dealing with things. We decided to accept it and let them use him. We’ll look at things again as time goes on. We sit down and look at each situation. We look at their request and what effect it will have on both us and them, then we make a decision based on that.”
Furman is one of three players to pull out of the 30 man squad for the games to play Swaziland and Nigeria, with no replacements planned for any of them.
Mashaba added: "We have called-up 30 players and have covered every position, so we will not replace any of those who are unable to come to camp. I think it is also a blessing in disguise in that we will be able to test out the players we have called-up for instance Dean has been playing with Andile in the middle of the park, so it would be great to see who else could fill in that role."
March 24, 2015
Husband switch to Fulham
Ex-Doncaster Rovers left back James Husband has joined Fulham on loan until the end of the season as part of a swap deal that sees central defender Fernando Amorebieta moving in the other direction. Boro' have need of cover in central defence after injuries to Daniel Ayala and Jonathan Woodgate, while Husband has only made six appearances for Middlesbrough so far this season, with another former Rover, George Friend, currently first choice as left back at the Riverside.
March 24, 2015
Voting results v Coventry
There were just four players to receive votes as the "Man of the Match" for Saturday's away game at Coventry City, with striker Curtis Main being the clear winner with almost three-quarters of all votes cast.
The players getting the majority of the votes were;
1 Curtis Main (73.33%)
2 Richie Wellens (20.0%)
Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. With the postponement of Saturday's game at MK Dons, the next game will be at home to Bradford City on 3rd April.
March 23, 2015
Sheffield United travel information

The Supporters Club are running coaches to the forthcoming away game at Sheffield United, which is on Tuesday, 7th April.
They will leave Retford at 5.00pm, Bawtry 5.05pm, Harworth 5.15pm, Rossington 5.15pm, Hare & Tortoise 5.20pm, Doncaster Royal Infirmary 5.30pm and the Keepmoat Stadium at 5.45pm.
Fares for the trip are:
Members: Adults £9 - OAPs £8 - Under 16s £7
Non-members: Adults £11 - OAPs £10 - Under 16s £9
To book a seat, please phone Paul Mayfield (07961 727769) or Len South (01302 817347) after 6pm, but please note that bookings are only taken until the Wednesday before the game. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a 'responsible adult'.

March 23, 2015
Razak must change to succeed
Rovers midfielder Richie Wellens has said that new signing Abdul Razak must change his approach if he is to succeed at Doncaster Rovers.
The Ivorian international has struggled so far at Rovers, which culminated in his early substitution on Saturday against Coventry City.
Wellens told the Doncaster Free Press: "He’s going up against players who are not really that bothered about getting on the ball. They just want to stop him. That’s a different mind set. He’s got to get his head round the fact there’s someone just trying to stop him, and get into different areas and do different things to get his game out."
He added: "He’s more of a dribbler, an off-the-cuff player, but I’m more likely to play just sensible passes. He’s more liable to produce bits of skill you’ve never seen before. In training he does flip flaps and all sorts. I wouldn’t say he is a holding midfield player but he’s a player in there, without a doubt. If you can get him to go on the pitch and put his skill levels across the right way, he’s a good player."
Boss Paul Dickov revealed that he was thinking of substituting Abdul in any case, as the formation they had employed in the early stages of the game clearly were not working.
Dickov commented: "After four and a half minutes we’re one nil down and then I had to take Abdul off before he was sent off, although we were thinking about changing it before that, getting two wingers on there and using the width. Abdul was on a tightrope and that made my mind up for me but we were talking about doing it anyway.”
March 23, 2015
Lundstram joins Scunny
Ex-Rovers loan midfielder John Lundstram has joined Scunthorpe United on loan for a month. The move came up after the Iron had Neal Bishop ruled out for a month after having surgery for a hernia problem. Lundstram was on the bench for Scunthorpe's game on Saturday.
Lundstram is still only 21 years old and has also been on loan at Blackpool and Leyton Orient, but has yet to make his first team debut for parent club Everton.
March 23, 2015
Rovers up for award
Doncaster Rovers have been included on the short-list for the Johnstone’s Paint Community Club of the Year Award - they were nominated last season, but were beaten to the award by Brentford.
Rovers CEO Gavin Baldwin commented to DROS: "This is great news for the Football Club, for the Foundation and for Club Doncaster. The work the Foundation do is outstanding and something we are very proud of. Liam and his team continue to deliver across the board and this nomination proves that they are not only meeting but also exceeding all expectations."
The winners will be announced at a gala ceremony at The Brewery, London on Sunday 19th April 2015.
March 22, 2015
Coventry City 1 Rovers 3
Why do Rovers keep giving the opposing side a goal start? It must be a frustrating question for Paul Dickov - but at least in this half of the season, Rovers do seem able to respond in a positive manner, and that was again the case yesterday. It seems a 'stern half time team talk' was the catalyst after Rovers went in a goal behind at the break, and the players responded in superb style. Whatever he said worked!
Rovers had made one change with Jonson Clarke-Harris dropped to the bench with Abdul Razak getting a start - which in hindsight was not the smartest selection decision made by Paul Dickov.
An uneventful few opening minutes of the game was followed by Coventry going ahead with their first attempt on goal. O'Brien found space in midfield and slotted the ball through the Rovers defence for Samuel to smash the ball past Bywater into the goal.
Razak was then booked for a foul, and then given a stern lecture by the referee. That was enough for Paul Dickov - he was substituted before there was any more chance of him being sent off, with Harry Forrester being his replacement in the 23rd minute.
Apart from a couple of off-target shots from long range, it was a first half to forget for Rovers, typified by the occasion that Main gave Tyson a clear sight of goal, but the shot went well wide.
But the second half was a different matter altogether and they were quickly back in the game with an equaliser by Richie Wellens, who played a good one-two with Tyson before hooking the ball into the net - although he did appear to be hurt in the process, which delayed the re-start.
Coventry did not threaten too many times after that, although Samuel did continue to be a nuisance to the Rovers defenders. Rovers went ahead in the 72nd minute when Jonson Clarke-Harris, on as a substitute, struck. His first shot was saved by the Coventry goalkeeper, but the Rovers striker responded well to put the rebound into the net. Once that goal went in, there seemed to be only one winner of the match - and it wasn't the home side!
Rovers sealed the points in the 84th minute when Harry Forrester tapped the ball home after a great run down the right by Curtis Main, giving Forrester the simple chance of slotting the ball into the net.
The win keeps Rovers nicely in the hunt for the play-off places, although they are still three points adrift.
March 22, 2015
What the managers said
A delighted Paul Dickov thinks that Rovers still have good chance of being involved in the end of season play-offs following yesterday's win at Coventry City.
He said after the game: "We were in a good position with nine games to go and we are in an even better position with eight games left."
He added: "I think that's the best performance since I've been here in the second half. You talk about giving yourself a chance and in the first half our centre-backs go awol after four minutes, but when we came in at half-time I was always confident we would score. I got into them a bit at half-time because I knew we had a great chance and told them not to throw it away. I was delighted for the subs who came on. They were disappointed to be left out, but I spoke to them about it and they took it fantastically well. We've got good players in the team and a good squad. Everybody's disappointed when you lose a couple of games but you want a reaction from that."
A frustrated Coventry manager, Tony Mowbray, pointed to obvious mistakes his players made, especially in the second half of yesterday's game.
He told the Coventry Telegraph: "We looked a decent team with a goal threat and yet we were unrecognisable in the second half. We stopped doing the things we were good at and then we had as poor a start for a half as I’ve seen for a long time. Maybe after a decent first half a few started to believe we’re better than we are and we paid for it. Let’s not get carried away thinking that we’re a passing team. The strength of our team in the first half was that we played forward and pressed them from there, but in the second half we were passing it around on the edge of our box, giving ourselves problems, and obviously some individual errors cost us."
"I think we know that we’ve got individual errors in us – it’s not a new thing, we saw it against Port Vale in my first game in charge –and that’s why we’ve been working to try to get the balance right."
"Credit to Doncaster Rovers – they’re a decent team and I felt that this was a dangerous game but it was so disappointing after such a good start. We didn’t play in the areas we should have done. We’ve been good out of possession yet we played into their hands a little bit, messing around too close to our goal. It shouldn’t happen, especially at home on this pitch – you want your team to play but in the right areas. Confidence might be a factor because we haven’t won many matches at the Ricoh Arena, and we have to find a way to do that."
March 22, 2015
Goals review
Former Rovers loan striker Jordan Bowery must have thought he'd got the winner for Rotherham United yesterday in their home local derby against Sheffield Wednesday. His 87th minute goal put the Millers 2-1 up - only to see two injury time goals for Wednesday steal all the points and leave Rotherham only one place (albeit by five points) above the relegation places.
Also in the Championship, ex-Rovers loan defender Matt Kilgallon will not wish to be reminded of the goal he scored yesterday - it was in his own net as Blackburn Rovers went down to a 1-0 home defeat against Brighton & Hove Albion.
A few rungs down the league ladder, Bradley Grayson scored a hat-trick for Stocksbridge Park Steels in their 5-0 home demolition of Market Drayton Town in the Evo-Stik League Division One South game.
In Ireland, Sam Oji was sent off in his second match for newly promoted Galway United, but they still won their home game against Drogheda United 1-0. Ex-Rovers midfielder Sean Thornton played for Drogheda, and is described as having a 'superb opening half', hitting the top of the crossbar with the free kick that resulted from Oji's sending off.
Finally, Dene Shields was on target again for Xewkija Tigers as they came back from a goal behind to beat Kercem Ajax 2-1 in the Maltese First Division, keeping them a point ahead of nearest challengers Nadur Youngsters at the top of the table.
March 22, 2015
Morgan on the brink of the title
The champagne had to remain on ice on Friday evening as Llandudno Town, who are managed by former Rovers midfielder Alan Morgan, were held to a 2-2 draw by Denbigh Town. A win would have given them the title of the Huws Gray Alliance League and hence promotion to the Welsh Premier League, but they will have to wait at least another week before that happens.
Llandudno hold an 8 point lead with three games to go - with only Caernarfon Town able to catch them.
Morgan's men have two away games to finish the season off, and one win will seal the title regardless of what any other results are, although Caernarfon will concede the title if they drop a single point, as they have a much inferior goal difference as well.
March 21, 2015
Coventry City v Rovers
The Rovers squad looks likely to be the same as for Tuesday's game against Swindon Town, with no new injury problems being reported by the club.
Midfielder James Coppinger is described as "closing in" on a return to the squad after training this week as he continues to recover from an ankle injury, but Paul Dickov has said that he will not be rushed back if there is any doubt.
Rovers will be without midfielder Paul Keegan, who is recovering from surgery, and defender Rob Jones is still out of contention, even though he has gradually been building up his fitness with the Development XI since knee surgery earlier in the season.
Coventry have been hit by news that Marcus Tudgay will be missing for two weeks with a hamstring injury, but that has been balanced by the loan signing of former Watford midfielder Al Bangura, who has impressed in training and playing for their under-21s after a short trial period at the club.
Reda Johnson and James Maddison have resumed light training but are unlikely to be considered for today's game, but Aaron Phillips is available after missing the last game due to the after effects of concussion.
Danny Pugh is sidelined with a long term injury.
March 21, 2015
Today's match officials
The match officials appointed by the Football League for this afternoon's away game at Coventry City are:
Referee: Carl Boyeson
Assistant referees: Dumitru Ravel Cheosiaua and Karl Evans
Fourth official: Paul Graham
March 21, 2015
It's not "must win" - yet
Despite back to back home defeats this week, Paul Dickov is refusing to admit that this afternoon's game at Coventry City is a "must win" game.
Rovers go into the game four points away from the play-offs - that could be stretched to a worst-case scenario of seven points by the end of the day, or alternatively if results go their way, the gap could be as little as one point.
As Paul has pointed out, all other clubs vying for the play-offs seem to be dropping points as well, which could give Rovers the chance they need.
He told the Doncaster Free Press: "It’s not a must-win. The division’s that crazy we could have got a fantastic point [against Swindon] and somebody else could have won and we’d have been five points off [sixth]. There’s seven or eight teams in and around it at the moment and they’ve all got to play each other. Everybody’s going to be dropping points. The main thing is what I’ve said all along - if we’re in touching distance going into it [the final few games], I’ll be happy."
"We’ve still got MK Dons, Sheffield United, Bradford, Fleetwood and Rochdale to play, all teams that are in and around us. Within that they’re all playing each other and also the likes of Bristol City, Preston and Chesterfield. So no one is going to get maximum points, I guarantee that much. We’ve just got to make sure we look after ourselves."
For all that, Dickov is just pleased that the side are in contention after the events of last summer. He added: "I’m not trying to be clever or play things down, or look after myself and the team and the club, but at the start of the season I would have taken this. And I genuinely, genuinely mean that. We’ve got ourselves in a good position."
March 21, 2015
Tyson still confident
Striker Nathan Tyson insists that the Rovers players still have the desire that is needed to pick up the points as they chase promotion via the play-offs.
He told the Doncaster Star this week: "The desire is still there for us to win. It’s just about finding our timing again, things like that. We have played well in certain games and even though there have been mistakes, we can still outline them and rectify them in games to come."
"For us to get to that next step, we have to start working as a unit. The lads are confident, they are buzzing in training. They’re looking forward to the challenge that is up ahead. But sometimes it needs to be highlighted that we’ve still got a way to go. It’s such an exciting time because we’re not a million miles from it but we just need to tighten up on a few mistakes we’re making."
Paul Dickov may say that today's game is not a "must win" game, but Tyson does not necessarily agree with his boss. He added: "It’s a massive game for us because we’ve not won in a while. Drawing two and losing two is not good enough for us with the standards needed for where we want to be. It’s a huge game for us, it’s a must win."
March 21, 2015
Coventry hold "Legends Day"
Coventry are holding a "Legends Day" this afternoon, with many former players being presented on the pitch at half time of the game.
In addition, Coventry supporters are being asked to wear an old shirt to celebrate the event, with the main focus of the celebrations being the achievements of their Division Three championship winning squad of the 1963/64 season.
March 20, 2015
Sheffield United ticket information
Tickets for the away game at Sheffield United on Tuesday, 7th April are now on sale to season ticket holders. From Monday (23rd March), multi-game holders and Alliance members will also be able to buy tickets, with any remaining tickets going on general sale from Monday, 30th March.
Rovers have received an allocation of 1,969 tickets for the game.
Ticket prices for the Jessica Ennis Upper Stand are:
Adults £24 - Senior Citizens (60+) £18 - Full time students (with NUS card) £14 - Young adults (17-21) £14 - Juniors (16 & under) £12 - Disabled + carer: £18 (limited availability)
This match will be all-ticket, and there will be not tickets on sale on the day.
March 20, 2015
No replacement sought for Keegan
Boss Paul Dickov is not looking to sign a replacement for the injured Paul Keegan, even though the influential Irishman will probably miss all but the last two games of the season.
The need to get someone who would adequately fill the role that Keegan performs, coupled with the likelihood of any club being willing to release such a player, are cited as the reasons why no move will be made. In any case, Dickov reckons that Rovers already have a good deputy.
He told the Doncaster Free Press earlier this week: "I thought Dean [Furman] did well in there on Saturday. He mopped up, kept it simple and got his tackles in. I thought he did really well last week at Gillingham as well when he went back there."
"It’s a difficult one. I know people are saying ‘why don’t you go out and replace Paul Keegan?’ What Keegs does for the team, there’s very few players that can do that with what we’d be looking for. You can go and get a kid from a club quite easily but it’s a massive risk, especially in that position. You could get people who haven’t played any first team games to come in but we don’t feel we need that at the minute. To get an experienced version of Paul Keegan is very hard. Nobody wants to let them [that sort of player] out of the club that they’re in."
The "loan transfer window" closes on March 26th.
March 20, 2015
Unfit Hume misses games
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Iain Hume has only made one appearance for Tranmere Rovers since returning to the club at the end of January, and is not likely to feature any time soon.
Hume had been a big hit in the Indian Super League last year, but has struggled to regain full fitness since returning to England.
Tranmere coach Alan Rogers explained to the Liverpool Echo: "Iain Hume is not fit enough. He's been here six weeks and he is not fit enough to play a game. We can't put him in the squad if he is not fit enough."
March 20, 2015
Furman - Rovers need to respond
Rovers midfielder Dean Furman was urged his team mates not to feel sorry for themselves after two successive defeats which has seen the team tumble out of the play-off places and down as low as twelfth place.
He told the Doncaster Star: "It’s the only thing we can do. If we start getting downbeat and beating ourselves up, we’ll take that into the next game. We have let it go. We know we’re capable of back to back wins if not three in a row and we’ve going to have to do that over the last ten games of the season."
He added: "There’s probably seven or eight teams pushing for a couple of spots. You only have to look at Peterborough and Barnsley who’ve put brilliant runs together. Look where they are now. We have to do that ourselves now. The group has got a great mentality we’ve shown before we can bounce back from disappointment and that’s what we have to do.”
March 20, 2015
Voting results v Swindon
We received votes for seven different players for the "Man of the Match" in the Swindon Town game on Tuesday evening. Midfielder Dean Furman was slightly ahead of his nearest rival, goal-scoring Curtis Main.
The players to get the most votes were:
1 Dean Furman (34.78%)
2 Curtis Main (29.17%)
3 Nathan Tyson, Stephen Bywater (13.04%)
We thank everyone for their vote - the next poll will open following the weekend game at Coventry City.
March 19, 2015
Scunthorpe United 0 Rovers Development XI 3
The Rovers' Development XI put on another good performance yesterday afternoon when they faced Scunthorpe United by recording a convincing 3-0 win in the game played at Brigg Town's ground.
There were chances in the early stages, but a good save denied Joseph Pugh, with Liam Mandeville also being denied in a 1-v-1 situation.
Rovers went in front on the stroke of half time as Alex Head intercepted a half-cleared throw-in and worked his way into the penalty area to stroke the ball past the Scunthorpe goalkeeper.
It took only six minutes of the second half for Rovers to go further in front, with Mandeville brought down in the penalty area, with skipper Harry Middleton stepping up to send the keeper the wrong way.
A superb save by Marko Marosi denied Sutton a goal for the home side, but it was Rovers that continued to cause problems, with Ferguson and Mandeville having good chances.
It became 3-0 in the 72nd minute when Head flicked a loosed ball into the patch of Mandeville, whose half-volley beat Weaver.
Scunthorpe United: Weaver, Baker, Mosanya, Purdue, Hare, Cleminshaw, Sutton (c), Watkis, Burdett, Mawson, Hawkridge
Substitutes: Stockhill (for Hawridge, 46), Oliver-Stothard (for Cleminshaw, 39), Shilling (for Watkis, 69), Ledger
Doncaster Rovers: Marosi, Lund, Carberry, Head, P.McKay, Mbuti, McCormick, Middleton, Pugh, Mandeville, Ferguson.
Substitutes: Linley (for McCormick, 74), Parkin (for Pugh, 83), Greasley, Jones, McLaren
March 19, 2015
Wayne travels to New York
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Wayne Thomas is travelling to New York this week to join New York Red Bulls as their academy coach.
Reports coming out of New York say that Thomas has had his contract with Worcester City cancelled in order to be able to take up the coaching post, where he will help develop the Red Bulls' academy scheme, which will effectively end his playing career.
During his playing career, he has played for several clubs including Torquay United, Stoke City, Burnley, Southampton, Luton Town, Rochdale and Tamworth, with two Greek clubs also featuring along the way.
March 19, 2015
Dickov - Copps is the best
Rovers boss Paul Dickov has praised James Coppinger as being the "best professional I have managed", although he is still hoping that Copps will be fit enough to play at Coventry this weekend after missing recent games with an ankle injury.
He told the Doncaster Free Press last week: "I’ve said previously Copps is the best professional I have worked with since I became a manager. He’s a manager’s dream. He gets on with his job and he trains every day as if it was a match day, and he approaches and plays every game as if it was his last one. I genuinely think he has got fitter with age. I know he’s out at the moment but he keeps himself in such good shape. When you add the ability and talent he has to that, it’s a great mix. He really is a credit to himself and the club. You often see him around the training ground speaking to the younger lads, and also the more senior lads at times if they’re having a bad time."
"There’s not one person within the football club that does not respect him. In the nicest possible way, that’s rare in any sort of squad. There’s always one or two that might not get on. But with Copps he’s got the respect of everybody."
March 19, 2015
Rovers announce new away kit for next season
Doncaster Rovers have announced the winner of the competition to decide which design will be used as the away kit for the 2015/16 season.
Fans were given a choice of five different designs, with the winning design being the one shown on the left, which is a dark blue with an off-centre strip of red and white. One Call Insurance will again be the shirt sponsors, having recently signed a new agreement with the club which will run until summer 2017. The Club Doncaster brand will be included for the first time on the back of the shirt.
March 18, 2015
Rovers 1 Swindon Town 2
It may have been an improved performance, but Rovers suffered a second successive home defeat at last night, although it took an injury time goal right at the end to give Swindon victory, with the points earned lifting them up into third place in the League One table. Rovers drop further to 12th, four points away from the play-offs, with a worrying drop in form following on from three wins in a row. That will have to improve if they are to maintain the dream of promotion, although another mini-run may well change things again.
Unsurprisingly, the gate for last night's game was under half of that seen on Saturday, when Rovers were offering tickets for just £5. James Coppinger was not named in the squad, with Paul Dickov preferring to give him a little while longer to recover from his ankle injury, but Rovers did show a bit more urgency and determination than they had on Saturday.
Chances were rare against a well organsied Swindon defence, but Rovers' patience eventually paid off in the 41st minute when Curtis Main put Rovers in front, showing the sort of form that had persuaded Paul Dickov to bring him to the Keepmoat Stadium in the summer. He got in front of defender Nathan Thompson to tuck the cross from Nathan Tyson home to give him his 10th goal of the season; not bad for a player who has been far from a regular in the side so far.
Rovers could have gone in front just after the restart, with Kyle Bennett having a shot deflected wide, with Jonson Clarke Harris's point blank shot superbly saved by Wes Fotheringham.
A mistake by Bywater almost gave Swindon their equaliser, but he recovered in time to gather the ball before it went over the line - but it was not long until the visitors drew level. Dean Furman fouled Gladwin to concede a penalty, which was dispatched by Smith.
Rovers kept going in search of the winner, with Clarke-Harris, Main and Tyson all having chances.
A draw seemed on the cards, until Obika's angled drive in added-time won it for the visitors.
March 18, 2015
What the managers said
Paul Dickov was pleased with the improvement in the performance of Rovers in last night's game against Swindon, and is confident that they will bounce back to continue their quest for promotion.
He told the Doncaster Star after the game: "I’m pleased with the performance and at 1-1 I felt as if we were going to win the game. But in that sort of game you have to make sure you concentrate until the very end. We switched off and paid for it."
"The boys need to keep their heads up. They’ll be fine. They’re gutted at the minute but once they sit back and reflect on that they’ll realise they’ve given a really top team a real run for their money. We’ll take confidence from that. At the start of the season I would’ve taken this position, and I genuinely mean that. We’re four points off sixth and it can change very quickly, we all know that. There’s still 27 points to play for, which is a lot."
Swindon boss Mark Cooper was delighted to take all three points from the game, especially taking all points with that late goal. He said after the match: "We were under pressure because we have to keep winning, the other teams are in front of us and they keep winning. For such a young group to have gone on the run that they did, of losing games and taking the criticism, to bounce back with three wins shows real, true character. I’m ever so proud of them and I thought they were tremendous again tonight."
"It’s a difficult place to come. Doncaster are trying ever so hard to get in the play-offs, and coming into the game off the back of a 2-0 defeat on Saturday. The way we did it, with a last-minute winner and changing it tactically, to gamble, it’s been a pleasing evening. We’ve shown a determined effort not to get beaten. We were gambling to get the winner and getting caught short at the back, defending with bodies on the line, because we’re desperate to do what we want to do. You could tell by the celebrations at the end (how much it meant). The goalkeeper is in the top row I think at one point, it means so much to them."
March 18, 2015
Goals review
There are just a couple of former Rovers players that we've noticed scoring goals in last night's games.
In League One, Jay Emmanuel Thomas scored Bristol City's last goal as they won 3-0 at home against Crewe Alexandra to maintain their lead at the top of the table.
Two rungs down the league ladder in the Conference, Michael Rankine scored in the fifth minute for Gateshead in their away game at AFC Telford. That proved to be the only goal of the game, and lifts Gateshead up to seventh, four points away from the play-offs.
Finally, ex-Rovers loan striker Milan Lalkovic had a disappointing night, he was sent off for a second bookable offence late on in Barnsley's goalless draw at Leyton Orient.
March 18, 2015
Furman called up for South Africa
Rovers midfielder Dean Furman has been called up by South Africa for their games against Sihlangu next Wednesday, and for their home game against Nigeria on March 29th.
The news was announced yesterday in Johannesburg by manager Ephraim Mashaba, and they will be the first games South Africa have played since being eliminated at the end of the group stage of the AFCON tournament last month.
The full South Africa squad is:
Goalkeepers: Jackson Mabokgwane (Mpumalanga Black Aces), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Brilliant Khuzwayo (Kaizer Chiefs).
Defenders: Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk – Belgium), Siyabonga Nhlapo (Bidvest Wits), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates), Thapelo Morena (Bloemfontein Celtic), Eric Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Rivaldo Coetzee (Ajax Cape Town), Thulani Hlatshwayo (Bidvest Wits), Sibusiso Khumalo (SuperSport United), Daniel Cardoso (Free State Stars).
Midfielders: Lebohang Phiri (Brondby – Denmark), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), Andile Jali (KV Oostende – Belgium), Dean Furman (Doncaster Rovers – England), Mandla Masango (Kaizer Chiefs), Cole Alexander (Polokwane City), Thuso Phala (SuperSport United), Jabulani Shongwe (Bidvest Wits), May Mahlangu (Konyaspor – Turkey), Thulani Serero (Ajax Amsterdam – (Netherlands), Ayanda Patosi (Lokeren FC – Belgium), Bongani Zungu (Mamelodi Sundowns), Kamohelo Mokotjo (FC Twente – Netherlands).
Strikers: Tokelo Rantie (AFC Bournemouth – England), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits), Thabo Mnyamane (University of Pretoria), Lehlohonolo Majoro (Orlando Pirates), Siphelele Ntshangase (Black Leopards).
March 17, 2015
Rovers v Swindon Town
Doncaster Rovers will be hoping to put the memories of Saturday's home defeat behind them by getting back into the winning habit this evening, as they take on Swindon Town at the Keepmoat Stadium.
There was talk of James Coppinger being fit to play this evening, although as he was not fit enough to play on Saturday, it may be in the balance as to whether Paul Dickov gambles on his fitness or plays it safe by waiting until the weekend before playing his mercurial midfielder.
Nathan Tyson, Harry Forrester, Andy Butler and Dean Furman all picked up knocks on Saturday, but are reported to be fit for tonight's game.
Midfielder Paul Keegan will continue his absence, while Rob Jones is still unlikely to be named in the squad despite having played in the Development XI last week.
Swindon are without regular back-up keeper Ty Belford, who has a medial ligament strain, with youth team goalkeeper Connor Johns likely to be named on the bench as back-up to Wes Foderingham. The Robins will have Massimo Luongo available despite being substituted on Saturday with a tight groin, as he is expected to prove his fitness ahead of the game.
March 17, 2015
Tonight's match officials
The Football League have appointed the following as match officials for this evening's home game against Swindon Town:
Referee: Tony Harrington
Assistant referees: Mark Duncan and David Richardson
Fourth official: David Benton
March 17, 2015
Dickov seeks reaction
Rovers boss Paul Dickov is hoping that the players will react in the right manner this evening after Saturday's disappointing performance on Saturday.
He told the Doncaster Star: "We’re really disappointed. We went out there with a really attacking line-up and we wanted to try and take the game to them. We didn’t get started until they scored their goal. As a team and whole unit they performed a lot better than us and probably worked a bit harder than us. You’ve got to give them credit."
He added: "Over the last few months the boys have done really well and that sort of performance has been few and far between. With ten games left there’s still a lot to play for. We’re by no means out of it. We’re still within touching distance and we need to keep an even keel on things. One thing I do know is that we’re so much better than what we were on Saturday."
"We’re going to have to defend better than what we did on Saturday because we conceded two sloppy goals. If we defend well, we’re a lot better team. If we get caught out like we did on Saturday, we’ll be in trouble. Swindon are a fantastic footballing team. They play the game in the right way. They want to pass the ball right throughout the pitch. They’ve got good players all over the pitch and they’re a really good team. It’s really important that we’re positive and play how we want to play because it’s a big game for us.”
March 17, 2015
Voting results v Peterborough
It probably says it all when the "Man of the Match" is your goalkeeper and his closest rivals are both defenders, but that's what happened in the voting for the home game against Peterborough United on Saturday.
Keeper Stephen Bywater picked up his first "Man of the Match" in the game, coming well ahead of the other five players to receive nominations. The players to receive most votes were:
1 Stephen Bywater (38.10%)
2 Luke McCullough (23.81%)
3 Andy Butler (14.29%)
Thanks to everyone who voted - the next poll will open after this evening's home game against Swindon Town.
March 17, 2015
McCullough and McLaren called up
Luke McCullough has been called up into the Northern Ireland squad for their forthcoming games against Scotland and Finland. The news was confirmed after yesterday's press conference ahead of the visit to Scotland on Wednesday, 25th March, while the home game against Finland will be on Sunday, 29th March in the Euro 2016 qualifiers.
Congratulations also go to youth team goalkeeper Jack McLaren, who has been called up by Northern Ireland's Under-19s for a couple of friendly fixtures in Holland later this month, when they play Netherlands U19s and a youth team from Eredivisie side AZ Alkmaar.
Ex-Rovers midfielder Sammy Clingan, now playing for Kilmarnock, is also named in the full Northern Ireland squad.
The full Northern Ireland squad is: Roy Carroll (Notts County), Alan Mannus (St Johnstone), Michael McGovern (Hamilton Academical), Aaron Hughes (Brighton & Hove Albion), Chris Baird (West Bromwich Albion), Gareth McAuley (West Bromwich Albion), Jonathan Evans (Manchester United), Craig Cathcart (Watford), Shane Ferguson (Newcastle United), Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood Town), Luke McCullough (Doncaster Rovers), Patrick McNair (Manchester United), Steven Davis (Southampton), Chris Brunt (West Bromwich Albion), Sammy Clingan (Kilmarnock), Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers), Oliver Norwood (Reading), Pat McCourt (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ryan McLaughlin (Liverpool), Ben Reeves (MK Dons), Stuart Dallas (Brentford), Kyle Lafferty (Norwich City), Niall McGinn (Aberdeen), Jamie Ward (Derby County), Josh Magennis (Kilmarnock).
March 16, 2015
New date for Development game
Hull City have announced that their Final Third Development League game at Doncaster Rovers has been rearranged for Tuesday, 21st April. The game at Cantley Park will kick off at 1pm.
The game should have been played on Wednesday, 4th February, but had to be postponed due to a frozen pitch.
March 16, 2015
Khumalo moves to Colchester
Former Rovers loan defender Bongani Khumalo has signed for Colchester United on loan until the end of the season. He had been making regular appearances for the Tottenham Hotspur under-21 side recently as he continues to make a comeback from a lengthy injury absence, with this marking the next stage in his playing return.
Bongani is out of contract at Spurs in the summer and it is far from certain that he will be offered a new contract with them. He joined Spurs from Supersport United in 2011, but has only appeared for Spurs on a few occasions, with a number of loans following to PAOK, Preston North End, Reading and, most recently, Doncaster Rovers.
It was while he was at Rovers that he suffered a serious knee injury on international duty with South Africa, which effectively ended his time at Rovers several months early - a great pity as he had been in good form for Rovers until then.
He was unable to make his debut for Colchester at the weekend as he needs international clearance.
March 16, 2015
Young stars 'not ready for first team'
Development XI boss Rob Jones has said that two youth team players, Jack McKay and Liam Mandeville, may be doing very well at youth team level, but are not yet ready to step up to the first team.
A regular series of games in the Development XI is seen as the ideal preparation for senior football, with Jones telling the Doncaster Free Press: "They’re young boys so they are still learning the game. They are still learning how to do things and how to play against big centre halves."
"Jack’s a number nine who has an eye for goal, is good in the air and has a turn of pace. Some of the things Liam does with the ball are mesmerizing at times. He’s got a great football brain. But it’s difficult when you come up from the youth team to get up to the pace of the first team. It takes you a little while."
"They’ve got every chance but they have to keep on improving. The under 21s is the right place for them right now. Men’s football is completely different to these under 18s and under 21s games. It’s that step so they blend into it. It’s my role as under 21s coach to get them ready for first team football. They will be ready eventually, but now they’re still learning their trade.”