May 29, 2015
Forest for the Keepmoat
Nottingham Forest have been confirmed as agreeing to visit the Keepmoat Stadium for a pre-season friendly later this summer, coming on top of this week's announcements that Sunderland and Wolves will also be visiting Doncaster.
Tickets for the game, which is on Tuesday, 21st July (kick-off 7:45pm) will go on sale on 15th June, as do tickets for the other two friendlies announced so far.
Ticket prices will be £10 for adults and £5 for concessions for each of the home games.
Season ticket holders in the East and West stands will have their seats reserved for the first two weeks of sale.
The list of pre-season games so far is:
Tuesday, 21st July - Nottingham Forest (home) 7:45pm
Wednesday, 22nd July - Bridlington Town (away) 7:30pm
Wednesday, 29th July - Sunderland (home) 7:45pm
Saturday, 1st August - Wolverhampton Wanderers (home) 3pm
The away game at Bridlington Town is listed as being against a "Doncaster Rovers XI", and will presumably involve the youth team.
May 29, 2015
Kirkland future in doubt despite contract offer
Ex-Rovers loan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland's future at Sheffield Wednesday is in doubt, despite being one of five players to be offered a new deal by the Championship club.
The Owls are reported to be casting their eye over other goalkeepers, most notable Shrewsbury Town's highly rated Jayson Leutwiler, with the Sheffield Star reporting that Kirkland is now weighing up his options and go elsewhere in the search for regular first team football.
May 29, 2015
Kilgallon staying at Blackburn
Former Doncaster Rovers loan defender Matt Kilgallon will be staying at Blackburn Rovers this summer after the club confirmed that they have activated twelve month extensions to his contract. That means that the former Sunderland defender will be under contract at Ewood Park until the end of June 2016.
Former Rovers players Chris Brown and Tommy Spurr also remain under contract at Blackburn.
Boss Gary Bowyer said after Kilgallon's stay had been confirmed: "Matt has been fantastic for us and when Grant Hanley got injured he captained the team ever so well. The level of his performances have been terrific, none more so than in the FA Cup game Liverpool at Anfield when him and Alex Baptiste stood out. His experience is vital to us so we’re delighted that we’ve managed to secure his services again. A left-footed, left-sided centre-half is hard to find."
May 29, 2015
Fortune released
Ex-Rovers striker Marc-Antoine Fortune is leaving Wigan Athletic at the end of June, after the newly relegated club confirmed that he will not have his contract renewed.
He is one of five senior players to be released by the Latics, although they have offered new deals to six other players. Fortune had been at Wigan since the summer of 2013, when he had been released by West Bromwich Albion.
He had a brief spell on loan at Doncaster Rovers in the 2011/12 season, playing five games and scoring once.
May 29, 2015
Goal Machine set for World Cup
Ex-Rovers striker Jason Price is set to represent England, despite the fact that he was born in Swansea. He has been chosen to be part of the England Veterans squad that is taking part in the Seniors World Cup in Thailand. The squad includes a number of players from his club, Harrogate Vets, and comes only because former Rovers chairman John Ryan has sponsored him for the cost of his flights over to Thailand.
He told the Yorkshire Post: "I have played for Wales Under-21s and it will be a bit strange playing for England. But everybody who I spoke to has said that the World Cup is great, experience-wise, and that I need to do it. It is the sort of thing I will probably never do again and they say it is the best thing you will ever do in football terms."
"John Ryan has sponsored me the full amount for the flight over, so I am grateful for that. England won it last time, but Germany and Italy were not in it and they are this year."
He added: "I still enjoy playing and am at Harrogate Veterans now and I don’t play on Saturday anymore. I had been playing at Brighouse but I was sub all the time, so I couldn’t be bothered. I packed it in and one of my mates plays for Harrogate Vets and asked me to go down and play. I was scoring a few goals a game and still actually feel I could do a job in the Football League. I played in the (testimonial) game for James Coppinger recently and felt quite comfortable against some boys who were still in the Football League."
May 28, 2015
Now Wolves get Keepmoat date
Doncaster Rovers have now confirmed a second home pre-season fixture, with Wolverhampton Wanderers agreeing to visit the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday, 1st August. The game will kick off at 3pm and, as for the Sunderland game announced yesterday, admission prices will be £10 for adults and £5 for concessions.
Rovers boss has lined up a number of home games this summer as part of the preparation for the 2015/16 season, which is aimed with the hope of overcoming the poor home form of last season.
Middlesbrough are expected to be confirmed as the opposition for James Coppinger's testimonial some time during the summer, and Rovers are also reported to have lined up another Championship team to visit the Keepmoat Stadium this summer.
Tickets for both the Sunderland and Wolves games will go on sale on 15th June.
May 28, 2015
Penney charged with assault
Ex-Rovers boss Dave Penney has been charged with assaulting a police officer following an incident that happened around 3am on Sunday, which was just hours after Southend won promotion from League Two at Wembley.
Penney is also accused of assault and criminal damage in connection with the incident, which was outside the Rendezvous Casino in Southend, and will appear before Southend Magistrates' Court on Monday, 8th June.
He is presently assistant manager at Southend United, although his contract with the club runs out before the start of next season.
A spokesman for Essex Police said: “A man has been charged with two counts of assault and one count of criminal damage following an incident shortly before 3am on Sunday, May 24. David Penney, aged 50, of Lower Oxford Street, Castleford, West Yorkshire, was charged with assault, assaulting a police officer and criminal damage. He is due to appear at Southend Magistrates’ Court on June 8. A 24-year-old woman from Yorkshire was cautioned for assault."
The incident was just a few hours before the whole Southend squad took part in an open topped bus parade through the streets of Southend to celebrate their promotion and Wembley victory.
May 28, 2015
Shackell linked with return to County
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Jason Shackell is being linked with a return to Derby County, with the Burnley defender likely to move on this summer as a consequence of Burnley's relegation this summer.
The Rams are one of a number of clubs reported to be interested in signing the 31 year old, who joined Burnley from Derby in the summer of 2012, with Leeds United and Newcastle United other potential suitors.
May 28, 2015
Brown praises brave Timlin
Southend United boss Phil Brown has praised the performance of ex-Rovers midfielder Michael Timlin in their play-off semi-final victory over Stevenage Borough, rating it as the "bravest" he has seen as a manager.
Timlin sealed the victory with an extra-time third goal in their 3-1 victory, which came after he needed 15 stitches for a head would suffered in the first leg.
Brown told BBC Radio Essex: "I have made some big decisions in my life football-wise and that's probably the biggest, Michael Timlin to play. On Sunday he went in for that horrific challenge and their captain's laid out. In the 90th minute here he went into another header with a skullcap on. It was just the bravest performance I've seen from an individual in my managerial time."
Timlin is out of contract this summer, with Brown keen to get him signed up for next season - but it may not be that easy. As he admitted: "He's already been approached by one or two football clubs to leave this place. And did he show that? He didn't - he showed that he wanted a contract at this football club. And I'll be knocking at the door of the chairman to get that contract because of the way he's performed in the last two games."
May 28, 2015
Heffernan leaves Dundee
Ex-Rovers striker Paul Heffernan will be leaving Dundee shortly when his short-term contract with the club expires. Heffernan's only goal for Dundee came against city rivals United at the beginning of April after joining during February from Hibernian. Earlier in the season he had rejected a move to St Johnstone, preferring to stay at Hibs and fight for a first team place.He joined Hibs in summer 2013 from another SPL club, Kilmarnock.
May 27, 2015
Rovers announce Black Cats friendly
Doncaster Rovers have announced that they will play Premier League club Sunderland at the Keepmoat Stadium as part of their preparation for the 2015/16 season.
The game will be played at the Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday, 29th July with a 7:45pm kick-off.
Tickets for the match are priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions and juniors.
This is the second pre-season game to be revealed - Bridlington Town have already announced that they will play at Doncaster Rovers XI on Wednesday, 22nd July with a 7:30pm kick-off.
May 27, 2015
Mills after return for Fowler?
Wrexham manager Gary Mills has refused to rule out the possibility of a return to the club for former Rovers midfielder Lee Fowler, who confirmed last week that he would not be signing on for Crawley this summer, despite having a successful spell at the club under Dean Saunders. With the departure of Saunders this summer to join Chesterfield, Fowler is understood to be considering various options after doing well at Crawley.
Mills told the Daily Post: "There are people speculating and I can’t say I’m surprised. All I can say is Lee has done extremely well for himself playing in League One this season. I’ve always kept an eye on him and he’s my type of player."
May 27, 2015
Josh is Eastleigh's first signing
Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Josh Payne has become Eastleigh's first signing of the summer, joining them on a one year contract after leaving Woking.
The Basingstoke born player made 43 appearances for Woking last season and joins the ambitious south coast club who finished fourth in the Conference this season.
Still aged only 24, Payne began at West Ham United's academy, with loan spells at Cheltenham Town and Colchester United followed by a brief time at Doncaster Rovers. He then moved on to Oxford United, followed by Aldershot, and then Woking in 2013.
May 27, 2015
Turner released by Blades
Ex-Rovers loan goalkeeper Iain Turner is one of three players to be released by Sheffield United, alongside Michael Doyle and Ben Davies. Turner was at United for most of last season, joining in late August 2014 after being released by Barnsley last summer. A brief trial period at Accrington Stanley followed before the move to Bramall Lane.
Turner spent a lengthy period at Everton, graduating from their academy, with a number of loan moves along the way, as he found that progress to Everton's first team was out of his reach.
May 26, 2015
Fowler leaves Crawley
Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Lee Fowler has confirmed that he will not be signing on for Crawley Town for next season. He joined the League One club on a three month loan from Nuneaton in January, which was subsequently extended until the end of the season.
Fowler was brought in by ex-Rovers boss Dean Saunders, but has since confirmed that he would be moving on, despite appearing to be open to a return when talking to chief executive Michael Dunford last Wednesday.
Lee said on a social media site: "I would like to thank Crawley Town for giving me the chance to showcase my ability. Dean (Saunders) brought me in, but the club and the fans made me feel welcome in my short time there. My performance, I would like to think, entertained the fans. Scoring that goal v Preston was (a) special moment. It was surreal, but things come to an end and (I) wish you all the best in your promotion this season. Yatesy (Mark Yates) is a top man, hard-working manager. Get behind him as you did with myself and Dean. My daughter still sings come on Crawley.”
May 26, 2015
Villa check on Button
Ex-Rovers loan goalkeeper David Button is being checked upon by Aston Villa after producing a number of solid displays for Brentford last season, according to the Daily Mail.
The former Spurs keeper had been out on loan to 13 clubs while at White Hart Lane, but has benefited from a permanent move to Griffin Park.
Villa were reported to be considering their options for a back-up keeper at the club, although the performance of Jed Steer, another former Rovers loan keeper, on Sunday may persuade them not to look elsewhere.
May 26, 2015
Barnes called up by Jamaica
Ex-Doncaster Rovers midfielder Giles Barnes has been called up by Jamaica for this summer's Copa America in Chile, which will be played next month.
Barnes has been in impressive form while playing for Houston Dynamo in the MLS this season, having been converted from a midfielder to a striker last year.
He previously played at youth level for England, but went through the necessary process last year to confirm his eligibility for Jamaica, making his debut in March, scoring in that victory over Venezuela.
Jamaica will play Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina in the group stages of the competition on the back of being undefeated in their last six games.
The Jamaica squad is:
Goalkeepers: Ryan Thompson (Pittsburgh Riverhounds), Duwayne Kerr (Sarpsborg 08), Dwayne Miller (Syrianska), Damion Hyatt (Arnett Gardens)
Defenders: Wes Morgan (Leicester City), Jermaine Taylor (Houston Dynamo), Michael Hector (Reading), Daniel Gordon (Karlsruher), Adrian Mariappa (Crystal Palace), Hughan Gray (Waterhouse FC), Alvas Powell (Portland Timbers), Richard Dixon (Charlotte Eagles), Kemar Lawrence (NY Red Bulls)
Midfielders: Je-Vaughn Watson (FC Dallas), Rodolph Austin (Leeds United), Joel Grant (Yeovil), Lance Laing (FC Edmonton), Gareth McCleary (Reading), Shaun Cummings (Millwall), Jobi McAnuff (Leyton Orient), Omar Holness (UNC)
Forwards: Allan Ottey (Mobay United), Michael Seaton (Orebro SK), Giles Barnes (Houston Dynamo), Darren Mattocks (Vancouver), Simon Dawkins (Derby County), Deshorn Brown (Valarenga), Romeo Parkes (Isidro Metapan), Andre Clennon (Arnett Gardens), Dino Williams (Mobay United)
May 26, 2015
Theo returns to Moors
Theo Streete, the scorer of the last goal for Rovers at Belle Vue, has returned to his former club, Solihull Moors after playing for Nuneaton Town last season. Streete has already been reappointed as club captain, and will add much experience to the heart of the Solihull defence, as well as giving the team leadership both on and off the field.
He spent three and a half years at the club in his first stint before leaving to join Nuneaton in the summer of 2013, since when he was an ever-present in their side. However, Nuneaton's relegation was the catalyst for him moving on.
May 25, 2015
Jed makes Villa debut
Former Rovers loan goalkeeper Jed Steer made his Premier League debut for Aston Villa yesterday in their final league game of the season.
The game ended with Villa losing 1-0 at home to relegated Burnley, but by all accounts, Steer played well.
However, his debut, which was due to Shay Given struggling with a groin injury, will not be followed by a start in next weekend's FA Cup final - if Given fails to regain fitness in time, Villa's regular number 1 , Brad Guzan, will be in goal - more to do with Jed's lack of experience of the pressure of a cup final at Wembley.
Boss Tim Sherwood commented: "You wouldn't want to throw Jed in, he's not had much experience in a Cup final. With the injury to Shay it was an opportunity to look at Jed. If Shay wasn't going to make it and Brad was to get injured we'd have a problem. You don't get many opportunities to look at a young goalie. I thought Jed did all right."
May 25, 2015
Goals review
Former Rovers midfielder Sean Thornton scored for new club Drogheda United in their 2-0 win over Galway United in the SSE Airtricity League this weekend. Thornton had been unlucky not to score on the stroke of half time when his free kick hit the crossbar, but he was on hand in the 69th minute to score after the Galway goalkeeper failed to keep hold of a shot from Lee Duffy.
May 25, 2015
Nelson set for Gills departure
Former Rovers goalkeeper Stuart Nelson is likely to leave Gillingham this summer after being told that he will not be the automatic first choice next season.
Boss Justin Edinburgh accepts that Nelson wants regular games, and that he will have to leave to achieve that - however, he still has one year left on his Priestfield contract and could yet stay.
Edinburgh told Kent OnLine: "Stuart Nelson wants to be No.1 and I can’t guarantee him that. I am always honest and I couldn’t guarantee he would be No.1. I think at this stage of his career and what he is used to, he wants to be given the indication that would be the case and I didn’t do that."
"There were no voices raised. He has conducted himself correctly every day in training and I would have no qualms in calling upon him, but what Stuart’s needs are, I can’t guarantee those."
May 25, 2015
Bywater - young players have good future
Rovers goalkeeper Stephen Bywater is confident that the young players who have come up through the youth system at the club have a good future ahead of them, which can only benefit the club as a whole.
The likes of Mitchell Lund have come through to make first team appearances this season, and will be given their chance to show what they can do next season.
Stephen told the Doncaster Free Press: "The manager gave them a chance to see what it’s like on a match day and I think that’s very good for the future. Mitchell came into the side and did very well. Harry Middleton too. They’ve done really well and that bodes well for the club."
"I see how hard they work. I see what they do on a match day. I see how they mingle in. There’s not separate groups of young lads and older lads. They mix in and want to learn, which is a good sign."
Bywater, who could still be involved next season even though he was not retained by the club last week, added: "I believe this club will be right up there next season. I really believe that. The foundations are here. You’ve got some good players coming through and you’ve got some good coaches. The manager’s a good coach. The assistant manager’s a good coach. They’re enthusiastic and they want to win, and that’s a good basis. If you’ve got a good manager and people around him who really care and do the coaching for the kids, you’ve got half a chance.”
May 24, 2015
Rovers set for seaside trip
Bridlington Town have announced that they will be playing a "Doncaster Rovers XI" as part of their preparations for the 2015/16 season.
The game, which will presumably involve the youth team, will be played on Wednesday, 22nd July with a 7:30pm kick-off.
Rovers are yet to confirm any pre-season games, although from what Paul Dickov hinted a couple of weeks ago, the schedule is already in place.
May 24, 2015
Dickov explains comments
Rovers boss Paul Dickov has moved to clarify exactly what he meant when he said that he wants a "squad of men" for next season.
Many had presumed that he would be looking to sign a number of seasoned professionals, but that isn't necessarily the case.
Paul told the Doncaster Free Press: "I know I spoke after the Notts County game about mentality and getting men in. What I meant by that - and I think it got taken slightly out of context - was you can be 21 and still be a man with a strong mentality. Look at Wayne Rooney when he was 16. He was a man before his time."
"It doesn’t mean we’re looking to recruit 30 to 35-year-olds because we’re not. But we definitely want people with the right mentality that can week in week out and day in day out train and play to a consistent level."
He added: “We’ve spoken to the younger lads about coming back for pre-season and actually believing that they’re first team squad players. It’s important they have that mentality when we start back. People will see that, if our recruitment process goes the way we intend it to, with the people we’re hoping to sign."
He concluded: "The last time this club got promoted out of this league, they had a group of men right the way through the squad and that’s what I’ve got to aim for. We’ve got good technical players but there’s no use having that if your mentality is weak. Especially in this division, you need to stand up and be counted.”
May 24, 2015
Tyson criticises Keepmoat pitch
The pitch at the Keepmoat Stadium is one of a number of things that need to be sorted out during the summer break, according to striker Nathan Tyson.
He was asked by the Doncaster Star to suggest reasons why the club's home form has been so poor this season, to which he responded: "There’s a lot of factors. The pitch has not been great this season, for us playing the style of football we want to play. I think it’s something that needs to improve next season."
"There’s lots of improvement needed in terms of the mentality of the players too, and stuff going on in and around the club. I won’t go into detail because I don’t really know that much. But I think whoever comes in next season, and whoever stays, I think the basic line of what we want to achieve is there. Hopefully the football club can do that."
May 24, 2015
Khumalo seeks pastures new
Ex-Rovers loan defender Bongani Khumalo is busy finding a new club this summer after confirming that he will not be staying at Tottenham Hotspur when his contract runs out at the club later this summer.
Khumalo, a South African international, had a very successful loan spell at Colchester United for the latter part of the 2014/15 season, which saw them, against all odds, avoid relegation on the last day of the season.
Of his plans for the future, he said: "That’s first prize, to play at the highest level. The reason why I came here is because I want to play in the Premier League. Things have happened the way they have and I need to work my way to get up there and to go through whatever steps necessary to get there."
"I’m a free agent in the summer so hopefully some clubs will be knocking on the door. I enjoy English football, I love playing in this country, I want to continue playing here, doing well and hopefully be part of a team that wins promotion to the Premier League and even play in the Premier League one day.”
May 23, 2015
Rosler is new boss, but what about Redfearn?
Former Brentford and Wigan manager Uwe Rosler has been named as Leeds United's new 'head coach' - but they already have one! Former Rover Neil Redfearn has been their head coach since October 2014 - quite a long time as far as managers under chairman Massimo Cellino are concerned. Redfearn made the step up from head of the club's academy when Darko Milanic was sacked, and steered the club away from any threat of relegation to finish comfortably in mid table by the end of the season.
Redfearn's contract as head coach runs until 30th June, after which time his future is uncertain. It was reported in October that an agreement was in place that Neil could revert to his former role with the club's academy in due course, but it is unclear at the moment whether he will accept that change of role.
The high turnover of managers/head coach has been seen throughout Cellino's time as a chairman, both at Leeds and Italian club Cagliari, where he hired (and sacked) 36 coaches during 22 years as owner of the club.
The relationship between Redfearn and Cellino has been strained ever since the unexplained sacking/suspension of Redfearn's assistant, Steve Thompson, in early April, although Neil has been credited with retaining his dignity under testing circumstances.
Rosler has been appointed to the club on a two year contract, but how much of that contract he actually serves will be interesting to see.
May 23, 2015
Shiels running on empty as Rangers eye promotion
Former Rovers midfielder Dean Shiels has reclaimed his first team place at Rangers since the appointment of Stuart McCall as manager, and has been putting himself through the pain barrier as the Glasgow club strive to achieve promotion back to the SPL via the play-offs.
Shiels has been at Rangers for three years and has seen back to back promotions ever since the club was relegated to Division Three of the Scottish leagues due to financial reasons.
They play again this afternoon in the second leg of their play-off game against Hibernian. Rangers won the first game at Ibrox 2-0, and will have their eye on going through to the final play-off game, with the winners of the Hibs v Rangers game facing Motherwell in the play-off final, and a place in the SPL the prize.
Shiels is thriving on the pressure, telling the Belfast Telegraph: "You have to be mentally strong no matter who you play for, but there is extra pressure playing at Rangers. If you don't want pressure then go and play bowls or something like that. Pressure is part and parcel of the game. We know what is expected of us every time we go over that line and we are doing it for ourselves as much as for the fans and the staff."
Shiels was sidelined due to illness last week, but still turned up to play in the first leg against Hibs, such is his desire to play every game possible.
Boss Stuart McCall said: "Dean Shiels pulled out of training yesterday and was sent home. I didn't expect him to play tonight. He has come in wanting to play and we've had a couple of others with knocks and bruises - more than bruises - who were all desperate to be involved. That shows the togetherness in that dressing room. But there is still a lot of hard, hard work to do."
May 23, 2015
Schofield joins York
Former Rovers skipper John Schofield has been appointed as the new assistant manager at League Two club York City, where he will join anther ex-Rover, boss Russ Wilcox. The two worked together at Scunthorpe United, with Schofield having previously managed at Lincoln City, coached at Walsall, and been assistant manager at Cheltenham Town, Cambridge United, Notts County and Gillingham.
Schofield told York's official club web site: "I'm really excited about the opportunity of joining York City Football Club. It is a lovely family club and one thing which really struck me when I met the chairman and the other board members for the first time was their enthusiasm to take it forward."
During his playing career Schofield appeared for Lincoln, Doncaster Rovers, Mansfield Town and Hull City and totalled over 500 games.
May 23, 2015
Carden gets new contract
Ex-Rovers midfielder Paul Carden has signed a new contract at Southport after successfully keeping the club in the Conference this season. Carden moved up to be manager on the departure of ex-Rover Gary Brabin in January, with Brabin joining the coaching staff at Everton.
Carden guided Southport to six points above the relegation places by the end of the season.
He said after signing his new deal: "I am looking to build for next season. The contract shows commitment and desire from both sides".
The length of his new contract has not been revealed.
May 22, 2015
Bennett signs for Portsmouth
Portsmouth have announced the signing of Rovers midfielder Kyle Bennett on a two year contract. Bennett becomes new boss Paul Cook's first signing as Pompey boss, and told their official web site: "This is a massive club with a great fan base and the manager expressed a desire to bring me here. I know he's very attack-minded - which is good for players like me - so that also helped me make this decision. This club are looking to go somewhere and I want to be a part of that. I know what it takes to win promotion from this division because I've done it before."
Rovers boss Paul Dickov had thought that Bennett would sign a new deal at the Keepmoat Stadium, and is disappointed with the way that Kyle left the club. He told BBC Radio Sheffield: "We put an offer to Kyle and he shook my hand and agreed verbally to it. The disappointing thing from my point of view is that the club has looked after Kyle fantastically for the last four years."
Paul Cook said of his new signing: "Kyle is a fantastic signing, a very exciting player who is a good age and can score goals. This is the first of what we hope are many exciting signings for the club and we’re working hard to make sure others also happen. With Kyle, I do feel with the right development he can go on and do better things in the game and that is something we are looking to help him achieve here. There were plenty of clubs after him, some of those provided higher financial offers, but we managed to bring him here and we are delighted. He can play as any one of the three players behind the front man, with us looking to play a 4-2-3-1, as well as a 4-4-2 at times. Kyle is one those players who can come in off the line and we think can cause opposing teams trouble."
Kyle joined Rovers in the summer of 2011, scoring 16 goals in 131 appearances.
May 22, 2015
Dickov interest in Saddlers keeper
Rovers boss Paul Dickov has admitted that he is interested in signing Walsall goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell to the club as he continues to search for a new first choice keeper for next season.
Even though Stephen Bywater is not completely out of the picture for next season, Dickov is checking out other options before making his mind up, and has already run the rule over O'donnell.
He told BBC Radio Sheffield: "Richard is a good keeper. We have had him watched a lot and he is somebody we have kept an eye on for a long time. Because he is such a good keeper and out of contract, there will be lots of clubs looking at him like we have over the past season. He is one that is on our list."
What may count in Rovers' favour is that O'Donnell lives in Sheffield and is still close friends with Andy Butler, who he car shared with when they played together at Walsall.
What is certain is that Richard is on the move this summer after turning down the offer of a new contract with Walsall.
May 22, 2015
Dickov denies link with O'Connor
Paul Dickov has denied any interest in signing Port Vale midfielder Michael O'Connor this summer and has attacked comments made by Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite which suggests Rovers are lining up the move.
O'Connor is out of contract at Port Vale but has been offered a new deal by the Valiants, but even though Smurthwaite thinks they can come to an agreement on wages, the midfielders' commute from Lincoln is more of a problem, which is where the link to Rovers seems to come in.
However, Dickov hit back by telling BBC Radio Sheffield: "There's no truth in that one whatsoever .I think Michael is a very good player and he spent time with us last pre-season because he lives locally. I find it wrong that the Port Vale chairman comes out and says we are after Michael when it is simply not true. Some people should keep their mouth shut some times."
Smurthwaite had told BBC Radio Stoke: "He is a great lad but it is four-and-a-half hours' travel. As of today I understand no other club has made a formal offer for him. On that basis he is happy with the package, it is just the disruption of his life with the travelling. He won't relocate because his kids are at a critical age for schooling. I wouldn't expect him to. But hopefully he will be over the line. There's nothing guaranteed until the ink is dry but I genuinely believe that …..unless Doncaster pop up because Doncaster is his nearest club that he hasn't played for in the vicinity where he lives. If Paul Dickov decides he wants him them I can't stop that and in fairness it is a much nearer journey for him. It isn't about the money for Michael O'Connor. He is a great guy and a great pro."
May 22, 2015
Woods kept on by Pools
Hartlepool United have announced that they have exercised an option to keep former Rovers midfielder Michael Woods at the club for a further season. He is one of seven players to have options exercised, in addition to four other players who remain under contract with the club.
Woods is currently recovering from a long term injury, but is expected to be able to report back for pre-season training later this summer.
One former Rovers player not to be so lucky is goalkeeper Jon Maxted, who has been released by Hartlepool at the end of his contract.
Maxted only joined the club in November after having played for Ilkeston, but did not make any first team appearances for Hartlepool.
May 21, 2015
New deal for Forte
Former loan striker Jonathan Forte is staying at League One club Oldham Athletic after a successful first season at the club in which he scored 15 goals and started 32 league games.
The Latics have taken up the option to extend his contract at the club.
Forte joined Oldham last summer after being released by Southampton, for who he only made five starts in three years, although he did spend time out at loan with Preston, Notts County, Crawley and Sheffield United during that time.
Oldham have also offered a contract extension to former Rovers defender Adam Lockwood, who missed the first two-thirds of the season due to injury, and only made his first appearance of the season on 28th February.
May 21, 2015
McKay hopes for progress next season
Young Rovers defender Paul McKay is hoping to continue his progression through from the youth team next season and is hoping that his time with the first team squad during the last season will yield dividends.
McKay was captain of the Rovers' under-18s side last season and was named the club's Young Player of the Year recently.
Paul told DROS a couple of weeks ago: "It’s been a bit harder for me to get an opportunity as a central defender but the gaffer has been good enough to throw me in to training with the first team and that's really starting to help me."
"I’d like to thank Paul Wilson and Paul Stancliffe for all their help over the last two years and hopefully I can continue this in to next year. I’ve put a lot of hard work in since I’ve been here from the under nine age group and it's starting to pay off. I want to continue that in to next year and keep on the progression."
May 21, 2015
Northern Ireland call up Horlock
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Kevin Horlock is part of the new management team of the Northern Ireland under-21 side alongside Jim Magilton, Damien Johnson and Mark Crossley.
Horlock, who is currently reserve team manager at non-league club Needham Market, was appointed to be assistant manager of the Northern Ireland under 21 team in August 2013, and retains his role in the new set-up under Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill and new under-21s boss Jim Magilton.
O'Neill said: "I am delighted to have Jim Magilton in charge of the very important Under-21 squad and I feel that given Damien, Kevin and Mark's experience, they will be perfect role models for these young players to assist them in their football careers."
May 21, 2015
Akinfenwa gets new offer from Wimbledon
Ex-Rovers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa has been offered a "new and improved" contract by AFC Wimbledon.
He joined the Dons last summer and turned out for the club a total of 52 times last season, scoring 15 goals, with his physical presence intimidating several League Two defenders.
Wimbledon is the latest of a long list of clubs that Bayo has played for in a career that goes back to 2002, since when he has played well over 400 games.
Beginning at Barry Town in the Welsh League, Akinfenwa went on to play for Boston United, Leyton Orient, Rushden & Diamonds, Doncaster Rovers (2003/04), Torquay United, Swansea City, Millwall, Northampton Town (twice) and Gillingham (twice).
May 20, 2015
Coppinger eyes club record
Rovers midfielder James Coppinger is eyeing the club appearances record next season, and has no intention of hanging up his boots for some time.
Coppinger should pass Colin Douglas's record of 468 games midway through next season if all goes well.
James told DROS earlier this month: "It’s something that I’m conscious of. 468 is the magic number and hopefully I’ll pass it next season if I keep fit and that starts with a good pre season. To see the club progress in such a short space of time and see where we are now and what we've achieved - and to achieve - is something I’m really proud of."
"It’s a great achievement and I’m thankful for the last eleven years that I’ve been at the club. It’s been a rollercoaster - some ups and downs. More ups than downs it has to be said though so I’m thankful. Its great to accept something like this and to be part of a club like this for so long is something that I’m really proud of."
May 20, 2015
Seat deadline approaches
Season ticket holders wanting to sit in the same seat to watch matches next season will have to renew their season ticket before 31st May, as all available seats will go on open sale from 1st June.
With a Bank Holiday on Monday, 25th May, please note that the ticket office will be closed on both Sunday and Monday this weekend.
Opening times for the rest of this week are:
Wednesday 9am to 4.30pm, Thursday 9am to 7pm, Friday 9am to 4pm, Saturday 10am to 1pm.
Normal opening hours resume from next Tuesday.
The club shop at the Keepmoat Stadium will also be closed on Sunday and Monday.
May 20, 2015
Bowery and Clarke-Harris praised by Evans
Former Rovers loan strikers Jordan Bowery and Jonson Clarke-Harris, both now at Rotherham United, have been praised by their boss, Steve Evans, who predicts that there is a bright future for both of them.
Speaking on BBC Radio Sheffield, Evans said: "When we had our individual chats this week both lads go into the summer buzzing that they played a part at the very end of the season. They are both also aware that there is much progress to be made. I think Jordan Bowery is a much better player than he was when he arrived becoming like the Jordan Bowery in the last six to eight weeks that we'd wanted all season. We are looking forward to him coming back in that same frame of mind."
"Jonson Clarke-Harris is twenty years old, six feet three and built like the Jolly Green Giant! He's got every attribute that you can imagine but if we could use a little bit of him to caress the ball and nurture it in and get his awareness a little bit brighter then he could be anything he wants to be."
May 20, 2015
A striker is top of Dickov's list
A simple task, but something that boss Paul Dickov is mindful of, is to find a goal scorer to propel Rovers up the league next season. The lack of goals scored last season cost Rovers dearly, with Nathan Tyson top scorer with 14 goals to his name, followed by Curtis Main (10), Harry Forrester (9) and Kyle Bennett (8).
Speaking to the Doncaster Star, Dickov said: "I don’t think it’s any secret that we need a goal scorer, and that’s nothing against the ones we’ve got here already. We’ve missed too many chances. Our home form’s been horrendous but if you look back at some of the performances and some of the chances we’ve missed, we could quite easily have turned that around. That’s got to be our main priority."
May 20, 2015
Snodin charged by FA
Former Rovers player Glynn Snodin, now at Preston North End, has been charged by the FA as a consequence of events after Preston's play-off semi-final against Chesterfield.
Both clubs have been charged with "failing to ensure their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion" relating to an incident in the first half of the game at the Proact Stadium, with Snodin accused of misconduct.
The clubs and Snodin had until May 15th to respond to the charges, with no date yet set for the FA hearing.
May 19, 2015
Rovers release eight
Doncaster Rovers boss Paul Dickov has confirmed that the club have released eight players at the end of their contracts, with a further eight being offered new deals.
Midfielder Enda Stevens has returned to Aston Villa at the end of his loan, although his contract at Villa Park runs out later this summer.
Leaving Rovers this summer are Jamie McCombe, Theo Robinson, Abdul Razak, Reece Wabara, Dean Furman, Stephen Bywater, Lewis Ferguson and Alex Peterson, with youth team players Aron Gordon, Alex Head and Jack McLaren not being offered professional contracts.
That gives Paul Dickov plenty of scope for new signings this summer, with a number of players already under discussion.
Players remaining under contract at Rovers for next season are James Coppinger, Harry Forrester, Cedric Evina, Paul Keegan, Curtis Main, Andy Butler, Liam Mandeville, Marko Marosi, Luke McCullough, Jack McKay, Paul McKay, Nathan Tyson and Richie Wellens.
Stephen Bywater may not have been offered a new contract, but the Rovers boss said that "the door is not completely closed" on Bywater signing on again. Presumably that means that they are checking out alternatives, but are happy to include Bywater if those options do not materialise (or he signs elsewhere in the meantime).
May 19, 2015
Dickov - we want to be better
Paul Dickov has tried to explain the reasoning behind the players released by Doncaster Rovers this summer, with most becoming self-explanatory.
Dean Furman and Reece Wabara are hoping to get signed up by a club in a higher division than Rovers, so rather than having to wait until late in the summer, the club have respected their wishes and will plan their squad for next season without them.
Abdul Razak only joined Rovers right at the end of the season and failed to hold down a place in the side, despite his obvious talent. Dickov rated his signing as " a low risk option that we explored and he leaves on good terms".
He praised the professionalism of Jamie McCombe, who endured an injury-hit time at Rovers, and of striker Theo Robinson, who was out on loan at Scunthorpe in the latter weeks of the season.
Overall, Paul commented: “The one thing we want to try and do next year is be better, but I want to thank the boys who we’ve released. Big Jamie has had his injury problems, but has been professional to the last, Theo similarly."
Kyle Bennett is reported to have been interesting Portsmouth, but Rovers have offered him a new deal. Dickov added: "As for Kyle, then there’ll be interest in him because he’s a good player, but all the conversations I’ve had with him and his representatives are that he wants to stay. We’ll sit down with him and his agent this week. I know about the interest and they’re not trying to do it behind our backs – we’re aware of what’s going on – but all the indications are that he wants to stay."
May 19, 2015
Gerry Taggart is new Rovers scout
Ex-Northern Ireland international Gerry Taggart has been appointed as Doncaster Rovers' new Chief Scout, the club announced yesterday.
Taggart played alongside Paul Dickov at Leicester City, and had been his assistant manager at Oldham Athletic.
However, Paul Dickov was quick to point out that it wasn't an automatic choice, even though he knows Taggart's strengths and methods from working with him at Oldham.
Taggart told the Doncaster Star: "It’s a big step forward that the club are making and you’ve got to give credit to the board because they’ve backed the manager in creating this role and this shows we’re taking the recruitment of players very seriously. It’s a major step forward in trying to recruit the right sort of players for Doncaster. It starts now, it’s ongoing as we speak. I’m not going to go into too much detail but let’s just say that there are still plenty of players being watched."
He added: "I think a good team is reflected in its manager and you only have to look at how Paul was as a player to see the type of player that fits Paul’s style and, to an extent my style, as we both played the game in the same way.”
Paul Dickov added: "He’s someone I know well and was my assistant at Oldham for two years. We went through the process and had the interviews and it was very close. Gerry’s knowledge of going out, watching games and doing team reports – and his experience – means that he knows exactly what type of player I’m after in terms of attitude and ability. He’s out watching games all of the time and will be a big, big plus for the club in this coming year.”
May 19, 2015
Pittman apologises for spot kick miss
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Jon-Paul Pittman has apologised to Grimsby Town's fans for missing his penalty shoot-out spot kick on Sunday, which led to Grimsby losing out to Bristol City at Wembley.
Pittman blazed his penalty over the bar, meaning that Lee Mansfield's conversion gave Bristol Rovers victory.
Pittman joined the Mariners last summer, and after the game, he told BBC Radio Humberside: "I want to say a big apology to all the fans. Hopefully I can rectify it. I want the ground to swallow me up and disappear but you can't do that. You have to dig in and go again and hopefully that is something I get the opportunity to do that."
"It's the best group I've ever played with and that's what makes it harder to swallow because I feel like I've let my friends down."
Pittman's contract at Blundell Park expires this summer.
Boss Paul Hurst commented: "We'll see how many of this group that I would like to retain will stay. I stand by what I said, if we had had that group from the start we would have gone close to winning the league but financially we could not have afforded to have this squad all season. You have to live within your means and we have a budget to work to."
May 18, 2015
Rovers win award again
Doncaster Rovers have been awarded the "Football League Family Excellence Award" for the 2014/15 season, meaning they are one of six clubs to have won the award for the eighth successive season.
The awards were created in 2007 to recognise clubs giving an outstanding experience for young fans and families.
42 clubs have won the award this season, even though there was a significant increase in the 'benchmark standard' set by the judging panel.
Football League CEO Shaun Harvey commented: "The Football League Family Excellence Award gives clubs a standard to aspire to when planning their efforts to attract more families and young fans to their matches. It is hugely encouraging to see so many clubs receiving the accolade, demonstrating The Football League’s ongoing commitment to securing the next generation of fans."
The clubs winning for the eighth successive year are: Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town, Ipswich Town, Milton Keynes Dons, Shrewsbury Town and Tranmere Rovers.
May 18, 2015
Mills released by Bolton
Bolton Wanderers have confirmed that former Doncaster Rovers defender Matt Mills is one of 13 players that have been released at the end of their contracts this summer.
Speculation had been rife that Mills would be leaving the club, with Nottingham Forest and Fulham already reported to be interested in signing him.
Those leaving Bolton this summer are: Jermaine Beckford, Matt Mills, Craig Davies, Andrew Lonergan and Keith Andrews, along with young players Chris Lester, Georg Iliev, Luke Woodland, Glenn Matthews, Ryan Sellers, James Ball, Carl Kennedy and Kieran Nolan.
Bolton are in talks with Darren Pratley, Adam Bogdan and veteran strikers Eidur Gudjohnsen and Emile Heskey over new contracts.
Mills has played 97 games for Bolton since joining them from Leicester City in July 2012. He played for Rovers between 2007 and 2009, initially on loan, before leaving to join Reading in a £2 million transfer.
May 18, 2015
Rovers to confirm released players
Doncaster Rovers have submitted their "retained player list" to the Football League, and confirmation of which players they are releasing will be revealed some time today.
Boss Paul Dickov told DROS last week: "Over the last few days I have spoken to a number of players and their agents. 4 on Monday, 3 on Tuesday and I am due to speak to 4 today (Wednesday). I have also been across to Holland to watch a couple of players we have had our eye on for some time. I understand that fans want names and more detail than that, but we need to remain professional to ensure that we do all we can to attract our targets to this Club."
"We have an immediate focus to improve the squad and that does mean that players will leave us. We thank them and we wish them well. With that comes opportunity, and that is an opportunity for us to make our playing staff better. That’s what we all want. The work and due diligence has began and we are very excited at the positivity we are getting from those players that we have opened talks with. Players are keen to come here and that is great for us and our supporters to know. The Club is buzzing on and off the pitch right now and we are all genuinely excited about next season".
Those understood to be out of contract this summer include: Kyle Bennett, Stephen Bywater, Dean Furman, Rob Jones, Mitchell Lund, Jamie McCombe, Harry Middleton, Alex Peterson, Abdul Razak, Theo Robinson, Nathan Tyson, Reece Wabara and Billy Whitehouse.
May 18, 2015
Leeds chief in trouble over McCormack transfer
He may have only been back in charge at Leeds United for a few days, but chairman Massimo Cellino is already in trouble with the FA, this time as they scrutinise the allegation of illegal payments made relating to ex-Rovers striker Ross McCormack's transfer from Leeds to Fulham last summer.
There is no suggestion that McCormack was aware of the payment or aware that any FA regulations may have been broken.
The FA launched their investigation just one day after Cellino was back in post - they are looking at whether the controversial Italian sanctioned an unauthorised payment of £185,000 to an unlicenced agent as part of the McCormack transfer, according to BBC Radio Leeds.
May 17, 2015
Goals review
The English football season may be more or less over, but in countries where the season runs on the calendar year, the season isn't yet half way through.
In the MLS in the United States, Giles Barnes kept his great season of goal scoring going earlier today when he scored Houston Dynamo's third goal in their 3-1 home win over Portland Timbers.
On Wednesday, FC Edmonton drew 1-1 in the first leg of their semi-final of the Amway Canadian Championship against Vancouver Whitecaps, with former Rovers striker Tomi Ameobi on target again. The goal sees him joint top of the goal scoring leader board in the Amway Canadian Championship.
On Thursday, Michael Timlin scored Southend's final goal in their 3-1 win over Stevenage Borough, which was in the second leg of their play-off semi-final. With the first leg being drawn 1-1, Southend now progress through to the play-off final, where they will face Wycombe Wanderers, who beat Plymouth Argyle 5-3 over the two legs of their semi-final.
May 17, 2015
Redfearn future in doubt at Leeds
Ex-Rover Neil Redfearn's future as head coach at Leeds United remains unclear, but at the moment it seems unlikely that he will be head coach at the club next season. Controversial chairman Massimo Cellino has returned to the club after his suspension by the FA, and is doing nothing to help clarify the situation.
Some reports suggest that he has already spoken to former Scunthorpe and Reading boss Nigel Adkins about joining the club - but Cellino is yet to speak to Redfearn about plans for next season.
Cellino is quoted as telling the BBC: "Is Neil the best coach for the club next season? I am asking myself this everyday. I put Redfearn in as head coach and I wanted him to be successful more than anybody else. I have to find the right coach for this club. We have an option for Neil to be here next season."
"I have to find the right coach for Leeds, not because I'm worried someone will tell me 'Cellino, it's time to go' If the coach is bad, it is my mistake. I have made mistakes, a lot of mistakes because I make all the decisions."
Redfearn was reported to be furious about the suspension of his assistant, Steve Thompson, at the start of April, without a reason being given. Thompson's departure was followed by a five-match losing run, with Cellino questioning whether Redfearn's approach to the job changed as a consequence.
He added: "Maybe Thompson was more important than people think. I was very surprised when I saw that had happened. I like Thompson as a man and when my ban ended I called him and said I was sorry. I know why we lost those games. When someone thinks just for themselves they lose the point."
May 17, 2015
Shields leaves Tigers
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Dene Shields has announced that he is leaving Maltese league champions Xewkija Tigers after a three season stay at the club. He signed off in style by scoring one of their goals in a 3-1 win over Oratory Youths to win the Super Cup, which came only a couple of weeks after they had won the league championship.
It is unclear whether Shields, who has been the club captain this season, is retiring from playing.
The statement issued by Xewkija Tigers reads: "Xewkija Tigers F.C. would like to show the greatest appreciation and deeply thank the professional player DENE SHIELDS for the perfect attitude on and off the pitch shown during these last 3 seasons with our Club during which we won among others two Championships, one GFA Cup and one Super Cup. Hope to meet again in the near future."
May 17, 2015
Dickov - the table doesn't lie
Boss Paul Dickov has given an honest assessment of Doncaster Rovers' season, and is now concentrating on improving things for next season.
He admitted to the Doncaster Free Press: "We knew at the start of the season it was going to be difficult. We managed to turn that around round about January time and if anything a couple of months ago we probably raised expectations by getting in the play-off positions. We finished round about roughly the sort of position that the majority of people would’ve said at the start of the season, after the summer we had. The table doesn’t lie."
"It’s probably round about where we’d thought we’d be, with a view of kicking on. I don’t like the word ‘consolidating’. It was about us having a decent season this year. I know that’s not what everyone wants but we knew it was going to be hard. We’ve always had a view of retaining our better players, starting to bring a few more of our kids through - and I think they’ve done excellently. The process started quite a while ago looking ahead to next season. We do want to be better. We want to be up there.”
May 16, 2015
Portsmouth talks for Bennett
League Two club Portsmouth are hoping to persuade Rovers midfielder Kyle Bennett to join them after his contract runs out at the end of next month.
The Portsmouth News and Doncaster Free Press both report that Bennett is a target for ex-Chesterfield boss Paul Cook, who has just taken over the reins at Fratton Park after attracting his attention this season.
Bennett, who has enjoyed his most consistent season for Rovers this season, was expected to be one player that boss Paul Dickov was hoping to offer new terms to, but those hopes could be in tatters if other reports are to be believed.
Cook commented: “I won’t comment on other club’s players, but the good thing is Kyle is out of contract and is a player we are after. He is somebody I think our supporters will love. He’s a good age, has football intelligence, can score a goal and is one on our radar. Kyle has been down in Portsmouth already, we met him on Thursday. He’s an outstanding player and one if we can get over the line can be everything that goes with being a Portsmouth player."
For all that, Kyle has previously said that he would like to stay at Rovers, saying last month: "Whatever happens in the summer happens. I’ll look forward to having a conversation with the gaffer. I want to stay. I’ve been here four years now and it’s like home to me."
May 16, 2015
Rovers could face competition to keep Furman and Wabara
Doncaster Rovers face competition to keep key midfielder Dean Furman and former Manchester City defender Reece Wabara, although both are players that Paul Dickov is understood to be wanting to keep at the club.
Reports from the South African press suggest that Furman is hoping to play at a higher level if possible, with his performances for his country this season bound to alert several clubs.
The Doncaster Free Press also reports that Wabara may be reluctant to spend another season in League One.
Rovers have submitted their "retained" list to the Football League ahead of today's deadline, with the details set to go into the public domain on Monday, although it is reported that Jamie McCombe and Abdul Razak have been told to find new clubs, with Theo Robinson also expected to be released.
May 16, 2015
Khumalo's hotel room raided
Former Rovers defender Bongani Khumalo, who has been on loan at Colchester United, has found his hotel room ransacked after going out to celebrate his side's play-off first leg victory over Preston North End.
Bongani returned to find that a number of high value items, as well as a bible his mother left him, had been stolen from his hotel room in Eight Ash Green.
He told the Colchester Gazette: "I’ve come back to the hotel after the great win for a bit of a rest and then gone out to meet up with the boys from about 8pm. When I came back, everything in my room had gone including my car keys and my car. They’ve taken all my possessions, some sentimental items, one being a bible that my late mother left me."
May 16, 2015
Moss on radar for Leeds
Leeds United have identified former Doncaster Rovers player David Moss as a potential candidate for the role of sporting director at the club, according to a report in the Yorkshire Evening Post.
Moss is presently head scout for Celtic and has led their scouting network this season after initially joining their academy back in 2010. He previously managed academies at Crystal Palace and Swansea City after retiring from playing in 2003.
Any decision over whether to make a move for Moss may well not happen until the future of head coach Neil Redfearn has been confirmed by controversial chairman Massimo Cellino.