July 3, 2015
Dickov happy with formation of squad
Boss Paul Dickov is confident that he will have the vast majority of his squad signed up before Rovers travel to Portugal for their training camp in just over a week's time.
Dickov had been hoping to have most players signed up before pre-season training began on Monday, but he is taking care to make sure that he gets the right players in.
He told the Doncaster Free Press last week: "I’m comfortable with where we are at now. We’re speaking to players. We want to make sure we’re bringing in the right players rather than panicking. As much as we want to get the right ones in, it’s important we’re patient with it."
"I said at the end of last season we wanted to get a majority of the new signings in the door by the start of pre-season. If not then, by the time we go to Portugal and I’m more than confident that will happen."
July 3, 2015
Turnbull joins Blades
Ex-Rovers striker Lee Turnbull has joined Sheffield United as their chief scout, leaving a similar role at League One rivals Scunthorpe United to join up again with boss Nigel Adkins, who was also his boss at Glanford Park.
Turnbull had also been Chief Executive of the SUFC Trust at Scunthorpe, but joins Nigel Adkins' backroom staff, where he will join another former Rovers player, Andy Crosby, who is assistant manager at the Blades. As well as being chief scout, Turnbull has also been given the job of Head of Recruitment.
Adkins told the Sheffield Star: "Lee is very well-known to us and was an integral part of our success at Scunthorpe United."
July 3, 2015
Now Whitehouse and Middleton sign new contracts
Just a few days after it was confirmed that Mitchell Lund had signed a new contract with Doncaster Rovers, the club have announced that winger Billy Whitehouse and midfielder Harry Middleton have also signed new two year deals.
Both made their first senior appearance during last season, with Middleton also captaining the Development XI last term.
Rovers have made the policy decision to give youth team graduates two year contracts rather than just one, in order to allow them to develop better in the longer term.
July 3, 2015
Shields on trials at Brechin
Ex-Rovers striker Dene Shields has been on trials at Scottish club Brechin City as boss Darren Dods considers several players during the pre-season games.
Brechin's friendly against Aberdeen may have ended in an 8-2 defeat, but Dods thought the game had its useful points, telling the Brechin Advertiser: "It was a very worthwhile exercise. Aberdeen passed the ball about very well and they did cause us problems. We’ve had a bunch of trialists out there and some of them didn’t know each other until they were in the changing room before the game. A few of the boys showed up really well. There’s a few lads we’ll be looking to keep on and sign them up."
Shields is looking for a new club after leaving Maltese club Xewija Tigers at the end of last season.
July 2, 2015
Horton leaves Rovers
Paul Dickov's assistant manager, Brian Horton, has left Doncaster Rovers, the club confirmed yesterday.
Horton has been at Rovers for two years, joining a week after Paul Dickov was appointed, with his experience being valued by the Rovers boss.
Whether the club promote from within, or bring in a new person, is yet to be confirmed, but Rob Jones said on signing his new contract that he would be more involved in first team affairs this season, so perhaps this is the step up that he was hinting at.
Horton told the Doncaster Star on leaving: "It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable two years here and I leave knowing that the club and the team are in a better place. Paul is working hard to attract more new players here and to build a team that can push for a play-off place and ultimately get out of this division. The team and the squad will look different this year, it is being built around players that want to fight and to play as one unit, not individuals. That’s what the fans, and Paul deserve."
Paul Dickov added: “I would like to thank Brian for his time here, he has been a great guy to have around and to work with. I have known Brian for years and over that time, including his two years here I have been able to lean on him for his experience and unbelievable knowledge of the game. The man is a font of all knowledge when it comes to football and we all have the utmost respect for him. It’s been an absolute pleasure having him around and we wish him well."
July 2, 2015
Williams thrives on pressure
New Rovers striker Andy Williams is eager to get started on working with his new team mates, and is hoping that he will be the 20 goal a season striker that the club have been in search of for some time.
Williams scored 22 goals for Swindon Town last season, and insists that pressure is something that he can cope with.
He told the Doncaster Star: "I’m looking forward to that. I’m getting used to the expectation on my shoulders now as a goal scorer and it’s something I think I thrived on last season. Hopefully I can do the same here."
"At my first two clubs I scored on my debut and kicked on from there. The next two after that it’s taken me a little longer to get going but hopefully here I will hit the ground running and get a few goals early on. It’d be nice to score on the first day of the season and get off to a flying start but I’m sure if people are patient with me the goals will come."
He added: “Apart from goals I’d like to think I will bring a lot of pace and energy. I think my movement’s good and I like to play on the shoulder of the last defender a lot. As a result of my size and the way I’ve played in the past I can also have it played into my feet and mix it up if I need to. I’m confident I can cause a lot of headaches for defenders in this league.”
July 2, 2015
Mitchell signs new deal
Doncaster Rovers have confirmed that young defender Mitchell Lund has signed a new two year contract with the club. He was given the new deal after impressing when promoted to the first team at the end of last season and the 18 year old is hoping for more first team action this summer.
Lund tweeted: "Buzzing to sign two more years with Doncaster, hopefully a good year for me and the club."
Speaking to DROS, he added: "I’m absolutely buzzing, my family are so proud and I am proud and really pleased. It’s great to sign, this contract is some really good feedback and hopefully I can continue to get a few more games now. It was great to make my debut last year, it is a feeling that is hard to explain, it is something that everybody wants to do and a childhood dream which has come true for me. The experience of last season has boosted my confidence quite a bit, I thought I did well and proved to people what I can do and hopefully I can do that again this season. Hopefully this season I can get a few starts, I need to come in and show what I am made of and work hard in pre-season and see what comes out of it."
Academy graduates Harry Middleton and Billy Whitehouse are expected to sign their new deals in the next few days.
July 2, 2015
Rovers announce new Rovers Player
Doncaster Rovers have announced a "new and improved" version of Rovers Player, now retitled "Rovers Player HD" for the coming season, promising all video content in high definition.
A new company, Stream UK, have taken over providing the service from PERFORM, which we hope will be good news in providing a reliable service on match days, as well as for the recorded video content.
Rovers are charging "from only £4.49 per month" or £37.99 for twelve months, with match video highlights also promised throughout the season.
But will the live match commentary work on a reliable and consistent basis? We will see!
July 1, 2015
O'Driscoll linked with Liverpool
Former Doncaster Rovers manager Sean O'Driscoll is about to become the new assistant manager at Premier League club Liverpool, according to numerous press reports this week.
O'Driscoll is presently boss of the England Under-19s, but has caught the eye of Liverpool boss Brendan Rogers, who called him "one of the best coaches I have ever seen" last October, while also adding "he will probably never get a chance at a higher level."
That chance is likely to move a step closer, with the back-room at Anfield having a thorough shake-up following the departure of assistant boss Colin Pascoe last month.
First team coach Mike Marsh has also left the club this summer, with under-16s boss Pepijn Lijnders expected to make the step up to first team duties.
Rogers has been critical of the coaching methods in England, claiming that natural talent is being stifled by old methods. He commented: "We need to stop blaming the players. The players get the blame in this country. No, it is the coaching. The problem is that the guys who are ’that type’ of coach you never hear of them really. Look at Sean O’Driscoll. He is one of the best coaches I have ever come across. He is working at Bristol City. He has never had a chance in the top flight. His teams were expressive, had movement, they were technical, but he will probably never get a chance at a higher level."
July 1, 2015
Rovers sign MacKenzie
Doncaster Rovers have made their third new signing of the summer, with former Dundee, MK Dons and Blackpool defender Gary MacKenzie joining the club yesterday.
The 29 year old centre back follows Thorston Stuckmann and Andy Williams into the club and is seen by boss Paul Dickov as another key part of the formation of his Rovers side for next season.
Dickov said: "Gary is a great signing for us, he is a quality defender with a footballing brain. He is a hard as nails centre half who comes highly recommended and a man who will run through brick walls for me, his teammates and for the fans."
"Gary is what fans will call a proper centre-back. He is a player that has excelled in this league before and has had experience of getting into a play-off position and staying there which will be invaluable for us. Gary is also one of those players that won’t be happy with just a play-off position, he always wants more. He is exactly what we need in this squad, his strength of character, his mentality and the fact he has captained sides before will be invaluable for us, the lads and fans will love him."
"We are working very hard to bring even more players to the club, we could have had ten in by now but we want the right players and sometimes you need to be patient to get them, Gary certainly fits this criteria."
July 1, 2015
Three games moved
Three league games for the coming season have been rescheduled. Due to the Capital One Cup game against Leeds being played on the Thursday, the away game at Wigan Athletic has been moved back 24 hours to Sunday, 16th August (kick-off 12:30pm).
The home game against Southend has also been put back 24 hours to Wednesday, 19th August (kick-off 7:45pm), while the away game at Colchester United has been moved forward a day to Friday, 25th March (kick-off 7:45pm).
July 1, 2015
Pitch overhaul on schedule
The Rovers groundsman, Jim Davison has reported that the pitch is on schedule to be ready for the first home pre-season game on 21st July.
The pitch has been stripped and re-seeded, with the first cut of the newly grown grass having taken place last week.
He told DROS last week: "The new pitch grass cover is three weeks old tomorrow and as far as I am aware we are bang on target for the first pre-season clash on Tuesday 21st July. We are now cutting, watering and fertilizing the pitch on a daily basis in order to get it back flat and as smooth as possible for Paul Dickov and his squad. I’m pleased with where we are at currently, the weather has not been fantastic, it has been dry and cold and we want more dry and warm days. With the forecast though we have no qualms that the pitch will be ready and in prime condition for the beginning of pre-season."