July 27, 2014
Rovers v Sheffield Wednesday
Doncaster Rovers play the first of their home pre-season games this afternoon when Sheffield Wednesday make the short journey to the Keepmoat Stadium.
Rovers grabbed a 'double' over Wednesday last season, but with a greatly different squad now, past form is of little consequence.
The Rovers squad is threadbare at this crucial time in the club's preparation for the new season, and a number of trialists are set to make appearances this afternoon, including Ben Williams, the former Manchester United goalkeeper, who is set to play the whole 90 minutes after news that fellow trialist Jamie Ashdown left the club during the week.
While supporters will be keen to look at some new faces, exactly how many of those will still be here at the start of the season in just a fortnight's time is very uncertain.
James Coppinger, Richie Wellens and Paul Quinn are unlikely to be included in Paul Dickov's plans for this afternoon's game and are all likely to leave Rovers in the near future.
Rovers boss Paul Dickov concedes that due to the changed circumstances at the club, some players may be given an unexpected chance to impress. He also is hoping that there may be some additions to the Rovers squad - if not today, in the next couple of days, so today's game could be important for the future of a number of players. As he told DROS: "Hopefully we’ll have a couple in for Sunday, if not then there’ll be some others in my mind for the start of the season and it’s a great opportunity for them (youngsters). Maybe this time last week they might not have been in my thinking and it’s a challenge for them. Not many clubs will give their kids a chance."
July 27, 2014
Ticket info v Sheffield Wednesday
Admission prices for this afternoon's home game against Sheffield Wednesday will be:
Adults £10, Concessions £5
There will be cash turnstiles in operation for this game - tickets can also be bought from the Keepmoat Stadium's ticket office.
July 27, 2014
Boro line up swap deal with Rovers
The Northern Echo are reporting that Middlesbrough have made a bid of £500,000 for young Rovers left back James Husband. Personal terms are reported to have been agreed, so the move could go through in the next couple of days.
Presuming that these reports are correct, it will be a notable departure from the already threadbare Rovers squad.
One positive point could be that Rovers are hoping that 22 year old striker Curtis Main will agree to move from Boro' to Rovers. Talks are reported to be continuing.
Husband made his Rovers debut towards the end of the 2011/12 season and has gone on to play 64 games for the first team.
Hull City were linked with Husband earlier in the summer, and unsurprisingly in recent days, Barnsley were linked with a cheeky bid for his services, but Middlesbrough's unexpected interest has come through in the last 48 hours.
Rovers left back George Friend also moved to the north-east a couple of years ago.
While it would be disappointing to lose another player from the squad, the transfer fee received could be vital if Paul Dickov is allowed to reinvest it in the squad building process.
July 27, 2014
Clarke set for Bloomfield Road
Rovers look to have lost out in their efforts to sign former Huddersfield Town skipper Peter Clarke, with Blackpool reported to be set to sign the defender.
Rovers had offered Clarke a contract, but since that was subject to the failed takeover recently, that fell through, and a new deal has not been agreed.
The Blackpool Gazette is reporting that Clarke was at Bloomfield Road this weekend to discuss the move, which would be his third spell at the club. He has already played over 100 games for Blackpool between 2002 and 2006.
Blackpool have even fewer players than Rovers under contract at the moment - just eight full time professionals, with less than a fortnight to go to the start of the new season!
July 26, 2014
Dickov - I won't quit
Paul Dickov has stressed that he has no intention of walking away from Doncaster Rovers, even though the challenging situation facing him means he is yet to make a signing this summer.
Speaking at this week's press conference, Dickov said: “I’m a lot tougher than a lot of people think. It’s going to be a challenge, and it’s a challenge than I’m up for. I love being here and working with everybody involved at the Football Club – the players especially. Never once crossed my mind and my mindset’s never changed. I want to be successful as a manager.”
As far as his player plans are concerned, he added: “We’re looking at two goalkeepers at the minute, cover at centre half and upfront where we need some pace going forward. The encouraging sign at Grimsby was the front four going forward, so if we get a few more additions we can be competitive next year. It’s going to be difficult, but the whole point of the meeting on Tuesday was to build something for the future and that’s not going to happen in one season or overnight but the one thing I want to do is to be successful.”
July 26, 2014
Gillett impresses Johnson
Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Simon Gillett is continuing his trial period at Yeovil Town after impressing during their 1-1 draw against Reading.
Yeovil boss Gary Johnson commented: "We needed that type of player today so we gave him an opportunity to show us what he can do. If he wants to stick around for a little while longer I'm sure he will get that opportunity to keep impressing. We won't make that decision after a day and a bit. I know him very well, he's played against my teams many times and he's still got something in there that can help someone and it could be us."
July 26, 2014
Burge unsuccessful
Ex-Rovers midfielder Ryan Burge has failed in his efforts to gain a contract with South African club Bidvest Wits after being at the club on trials.
However, it seems that much of his chance at the club was down to some self-promotion on social media, and the club are now reporting that there was never a realistic chance of him being signed by the Clever Boys.
The 25 year old flew in to Mzansi for talks last week, but the club have now confirmed that they will not be signing him.
July 26, 2014
Lalkovic joins Czech side
Only a few days after being linked with a return to Walsall, and of a move to newly promoted Rotherham United, reports now confirm that former Rovers loan striker Milan Lalkovic has signed for Mlada Boleslaw, who play in the Czech League.
Lalkovic was a free agent after leaving Chelsea in the summer, but flew to the Czech Republic on Wednesday to have a medical ahead of signing.
July 25, 2014
Dickov concedes Wellens and Keegan could leave
Rovers boss Paul Dickov has conceded that it is likely that key midfielder Richie Wellens has played his last game for the club - and midfielders Paul Keegan and James Coppinger could also be heading for the exit door after the implications of the club's new budget started to settle in.
Dickov said to the Doncaster Star over Wellens' chances of leaving: "Probably at the minute, I have to say that. He’s [Richie] had to take a drop in his wages because of relegation. He has got a release clause that he can activate at any time up to August 31. As has Paul Quinn. Preparing for the season, it’s going to be very difficult now to involve Richie and Paul in the games we’ve got coming up."
“I’m not saying Richie isn’t committed, because he is, but he has got that clause in there. When players have these clauses, I have to plan for the season without them.”
He went on: “Richie is a quality player, he’ll have a lot of interest. He’s already turned down Championship clubs and I’m sure there will be other ones trying to take him as well.”
Keegan is continuing to train with Rovers and is still talking to the club over his future, and it becomes increasingly doubtful over whether long serving James Coppinger will stay, although Paul Dickov is continually hopeful that he will be persuaded to stay at Rovers.
Trialist goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown is no longer training with Rovers, but former Manchester United keeper Ben Williams is still with the squad.
July 25, 2014
Goals review
Several former Doncaster Rovers players have been scoring goals for their current clubs over the last few days.
We begin by mentioning that defender George Friend scored for Middlesbrough on Monday in their final game of a pre-season tour in Spain. He scored one of Boro's five goals against Atletico Clube de Portugal.
Lewis Guy scored his first goal for new club Gateshead on Monday, as they beat local club Dunston UTS 2-0. Ex-Rover John Oster missed the game due to injury.
On Tuesday evening, Adam Lockwood gave Oldham Athletic a half time lead in their game at Morecambe - the game ended 2-2.
Also on Tuesday, Tristram Whitman was one of the goal scorers for Rainworth Miners Welfare in their pre-season game against Worksop Town, which saw Rainworth winning 4-0.
A goal from a direct free kick by Kazenga LuaLua gave Brighton a 1-1 draw at Crawley Town on Wednesday evening.
Finally, Waide Fairhurst scored his first goal for Macclesfield Town after returning to the club recently. He fired in the only goal of the game in the seventh minute of their game against Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday evening.
July 25, 2014
Ben tries out for Blackpool
Former Doncaster Rovers loan goalkeeper Ben Alnwick has been training with Blackpool this week as he strives to find a new club for the coming season.
Blackpool still have just eight contracted players for the new campaign, and have formed their team from trialists and youth team players for the few pre-season games they have played so far.
Alnwick played in Saturday's game at Penrith FC and continues to train with the club. He is a free agent after leaving Leyton Orient for personal reasons in March.
He played for Barnsley in the 2012/13 season but began his career at Sunderland's academy, before moving on to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007. Loan spells then followed at Luton, Leicester, Carlisle, Norwich, Leeds and Rovers.
July 25, 2014
The Beast joins Forest Green
Ex-Rovers loan striker Jon Parkin has signed a one year contract with Conference club Forest Green Rovers, despite having been training with Lincoln City this summer.
He was released by Fleetwood Town at the end of his contract with them in the summer and, despite holding some provisional talks to stay at the club, was released during the summer break.
The giant striker made his debut for Forest Green in their pre-season game against AFC Slimbridge this week and becomes their ninth new signing of the summer.
July 25, 2014
New away kit on sale tomorrow
Doncaster Rovers have announced that the new away kit will go on general sale from tomorrow morning at their shop in the Keepmoat Stadium.
The new design was selected by supporters after a series of votes as part of the "In Rovers We Trust" engagement programme.
The shop opens at 10am and stays open until 5pm, and will also be open between 10am and 3pm on Sunday, ahead of Rovers' first home pre-season game of the summer, when the visitors will be Sheffield Wednesday.
July 24, 2014
Rovers issue statement
Doncaster Rovers issued a statement yesterday which set out a conclusion of talks held between CEO Gavin Baldwin, the club's owners and boss Paul Dickov over the playing budget handed for the coming season, and the club's plans for the future.
The statement from Gavin Baldwin read: “In yesterday’s board meeting the owners confirmed their desire to remain in control of Doncaster Rovers for the long term. As part of the meeting the owners set out the objectives they want to achieve whilst at Doncaster Rovers, which includes developing the structure of the club to allow a return to the Championship."
"The owners have set out a wish to end the process of rebuilding the team on an annual basis and have challenged Paul and I with the task of building a younger squad supported by more experienced professionals to support their development, the squad must be capable of providing success for Doncaster Rovers not just in one season, but over a number of years."
"The budget provided will allow for a balance of bringing in some new faces to bolster the squad, whilst maintaining the core structure of the team and developing our own talent through the youth system.”
Boss Paul Dickov said: “The owners were appreciative of the difficult task of building a team in the short amount of time we have left before the season starts given the delays we have already experienced. Their expectations match those of all Doncaster Rovers supporters and that is to see the team successful in both the short and long term."
"They have set out an aim to focus on building a young squad that can achieve success over a number of seasons, not just one. Whilst this won’t be an easy task it’s a challenge that I’m looking forward to and I’m sure we can provide the success Doncaster Rovers fans deserve.”
July 24, 2014
Transfer plans start again after budget slashed
Paul Dickov is faced with the daunting prospect of not only having to form a competitive squad in time for the start of the new season, which starts in just over a fortnight's time, but also of having to change tack on his squad building plans, all of which come as a consequence of the failed takeover of the club last week.
Judging by the club's statement yesterday, any ambition to gain promotion at the first time of asking is now a distant memory, with the emphasis now being on building a younger squad "supported by more experienced professionals" which will provide success for the club over a number of years.
The immediate consequence looks likely to be the departure of all out of contract players at the club, along with a number of those under contract opting to exercise the 'release clause' in their contracts, with all facing substantial wage cuts if they stay.
If that is to happen, Paul Dickov not only faces the daunting prospect of forming a new squad in a fortnight, but also of replacing what were seen as the main-stays of his squad at the same time.
July 24, 2014
Rovers to rely on youth
It looks as though Doncaster Rovers will have to rely on younger, more inexperienced players this season after the cut in the club's playing budget means they cannot afford to keep some of their more experienced players.
Rovers owners Terry Bramall and Dick Watson are wanting to increase the number of players progressing from the youth team, and four are set to sign their first professional contracts in the next few days, which potentially increases the number of players in the squad to 15. Ben Askins, Lewis Ferguson, Billy Whitehouse and Mitchell Lund are all expected to sign contracts once Paul Dickov finally is able to sign players. Alex Peterson, Liam Wakefield and Harry Middleton were also promised contract at the end of last season, which could boost the size of the squad further.
July 24, 2014
Wellens left with "no way" he can stay
Influential midfielder Richie Wellens has spoken of his frustration with the situation at Doncaster Rovers after finding out that the cut in Rovers' playing budget for this season means they cannot give him the deal that was on the table before the takeover failed.
In addition to his dissatisfaction at the wages on offer, which he says would see an 80% reduction from last season, is the knowledge that two Championship clubs approached him at the end of last season, but Richie went on to negotiate a new deal with Rovers, although that was subject to a change in the club's owners.
Wellens told the Yorkshire Post: "Even though I have got a contract here, the fact that we are not going to try and make a big effort to go up again basically forces my hand really. At the end of last season, my wages went down a lot more than everyone else’s and I had an 80 per cent cut. Along with the cut, I also had the option that if we did go down, I could leave on a free. The frustrating thing about it is that I have said ‘no’ to two Championship clubs."
“When the season ended, I had a meeting with the manager and he was saying: ‘Listen, we are going to go for it and try and go straight back up and win the league.’ I got offered a new contract and agreed everything, but unfortunately now the takeover won’t happen. It puts me in a sticky situation along with several others. I have still got the contract. But on the terms I am on now, there’s no way I can stay."
"I am now on the back foot as I had felt I did not need to get anywhere, so I have not been looking. Now I am obviously going to have to go and look. I still have the option to stay if I really want to. But I do not want to be playing at the bottom end of League One.”
Wellens added a note of sympathy for Paul Dickov, who has been placed in an unenviable position with only a short time to go until Rovers travel to Yeovil for the first competitive match of the season.
Wellens added: "I feel a bit gutted for the manager. He had all the things at Oldham and everyone knew the financial restraints they had which were understandable. But ever since he has been at this club, he has been promised a takeover and then another takeover. Basically, he’s been operating under the same restrictions as he was at Oldham, although on a far different level where you are competing with clubs with huge wage bills and finances.”
Reports that Huddersfield Town are interested in signing Wellens are apparently "wide of the mark", according to the Huddersfield Examiner.
July 24, 2014
Clarke unsure of Rovers future
Experienced defender Peter Clarke does not know whether he will sign for Doncaster Rovers for the coming season, with the deal he had agreed with Paul Dickov now in doubt.
The 32 year old free agent took part in the pre-season training camp in Portugal, and told the Doncaster Star: “I don’t really know what the situation is right now and I’m awaiting phone calls. I was all set to sign. I’d turned down other clubs and there was a deal in place. We were just waiting for the takeover to go through and it’d have been sorted."
"I was all set to join. I’d enjoyed my time training with them and it was great to get to know the lads in Portugal last week. But I don’t know what the future holds. It’s all up in the air and I just hope it gets sorted out soon.”
July 24, 2014
Turnbull joins Barnsley
With Paul Dickov handing trials to two goalkeepers this summer, the chances of Ross Turnbull returning to Doncaster Rovers were not all that high, but any hopes were dashed yesterday when Barnsley signed Turnbull on a two year contract.
Turnbull was a free agent after his Rovers contract expired in the summer, but Paul Dickov had been hoping that the former Chelsea stopper would return for the 2014/15 campaign.
It means that Turnbull joins another Rovers target, James Bailey, at Oakwell - and with the current budget situation at Rovers, will they be the last?
Turnbull told Barnsley's official web site: "As soon I knew Barnsley were interested, I wanted to sign. I know Mark Crossley (goalkeeping coach) from my time at Middlesbrough as well. He was very complimentary of the club and now I'm looking forward to the new season."
July 23, 2014
Dickov's talks with board continue
There was more interest in who didn't play for Doncaster Rovers in last night's pre-season fixture at Grimsby Town than who actually did - and it appears that the collapse of the takeover of the club is starting to have consequences.
Boss Paul Dickov was locked in talks with Terry Bramall and CEO Gavin Baldwin yesterday over revising the playing budget for the coming season, with talks extending long enough to mean that the Rovers boss did not arrive at Blundell Park until half time of last night's game.
Missing from the side yesterday were most of the trialists who have featured recently, the out of contract players along with the likes of James Coppinger and Richie Wellens, both of who had negotiated new contracts which were subject to the takeover going through.
Talks over the club's budget are to continue today, with time now of the essence as the season is only two and a half weeks away, and Rovers are yet to make a signing, and do not have a goalkeeper on their books.
Rovers sent assistant boss Brian Horton to take the post-match press conference yesterday, and he refused to answer questions about any player who did not play in last night's game.
Boss Paul Dickov would only say: “Sorry, I just can’t tell you anything at the moment. I would if I could, but I can’t.”
July 23, 2014
Quinn resumes training
One potentially interesting thing to come out of last night's game at Grimsby is that Brian Horton revealed in his post-match interview that Rovers defender Paul Quinn has resumed training with the club.
Quinn has been missing from pre-season training so far this summer and it seemed that he would not play for the club again after taking to social networks to blast the club for the way he has been treated over the summer. It is the second successive summer that he has missed the early stages of pre-season training.
However, it looks like he has come to some sort of agreement with Rovers for the moment, which could see his return to the fold. He missed last night's game as he is not fit enough at the moment after missing most of the training sessions so far this summer.
July 23, 2014
Grimsby Town 0 Rovers 4
A much changed Doncaster Rovers side took to the field for last night's game at Grimsby Town, with the emphasis on youth as a number of players who had featured in previous pre-season games were left out, presumably as a consequence of the failed takeover of the club at the end of last week.
Boss Paul Dickov turned up late for the game after being in talks with the Rovers board over next season's budget, and missed the best part of the game as Rovers tore into an early lead.
Winger Kyle Bennett was on top form, perhaps taking advantage of the absence of others, and set up Rovers' first goal after just twenty seconds. Bennett found Nathan Tyson, one of only three trialists on display, who lifted the ball over Grimsby keeper James McKeown to give Rovers an early lead
Rovers applied the pressure, with Harry Forrester forcing the keeper into further saves, but McKeown was up to the task until the 20th minute, when Bennett latched onto a perfectly weighted through ball from Marc de Val Fernandez, rounding the keeper before firing home.
Theo Robinson added Rovers' third in the 31st minute when Rovers struck on the counter attack, with Kyle Bennett again setting up the goal.
Numerous changes to the side followed after the break, including a swap of goalkeepers, with Jamie Ashdown replacing Ben Williams.
The changes allowed Grimsby to get back into the game more, but their lack of coolness in front of goal meant that their opportunities to score went begging.
The second half seemed to be destined to be goalless before Alex Peterson popped up to volley home in the closing minutes.
Grimsby may only be playing at Conference Premier level this season, but Rovers did, for all the absences, look promising in the game, with a number of squad players taking full advantage of their chance to impress.
Rovers: Ben Williams, Liam Wakefield, Ben Askins, Luke McCullough, James Husband, Kyle Bennett, Harry Forrester, Dean Furman, Marc De Val Fernandez, Theo Robinson, Nathan Tyson.
Substitutions: Jamie Ashdown (for Williams, 46), Scott Brown (for Askins, 46), Alex Peterson (for Tyson, 46), Billy Whitehouse (for Bennett, 60), Lewis Ferguson (for Forrester, 76), Alex Head (for Fernandez, 87), Ben Greasley (for Wakefield, 90), Paul McKay (for Husband, 90), Jordan Linley (for Furman, 90)
July 23, 2014
Bailey signs for Tykes
Doncaster Rovers missed out on one of their transfer targets yesterday when Barnsley announced that they had signed former Derby County midfielder James Bailey on a two year contract.
Bailey had been training with Rovers for the last three weeks and featured in last week's training camp trip to Portugal. He had been expected to sign for Rovers, but it looks like the collapse of John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson's takeover of the club, and the consequent delay in the club being able to offer contracts to anyone, has claimed its first casualty.
Just twelve months ago, when Rovers were again in the midst of a proposed takeover (which also failed to go through), Rovers missed out on signing Jean-Yves Mvoto, who featured in pre-season games before also signing for Barnsley.
Bailey said yesterday: “Last season was a really bad for me, it just reminded me how much I missed football, but the manager and the staff here showed a massive desire that they wanted me here, which is hopefully back to the Championship. For me joining was a no-brainer. I wanted a manager to believe in me again – and thankfully I’ve found that manager."
Bailey becomes Barnsley's fourth capture of the summer.
July 23, 2014
Rovers miss out on Miller
Doncaster Rovers look like missing out on signing striker Ishmael Miller, despite Paul Dickov's hopes that Miller would become a "flagship" signing. Dickov had identified Miller as being an ideal replacement for the departed Chris Brown, but those prospects dived yesterday when it was confirmed that he has been training with Championship club Blackpool, with the Blackpool Gazette reporting that the Seasiders have offered him a contract.
Miller is available on a free transfer after leaving Nottingham Forest this summer. Blackpool have just eight professionals contracted to the club at the moment.
July 22, 2014
Grimsby Town v Rovers
Doncaster Rovers play the next of their pre-season set of matches this evening when they make the short trip to Blundell Park to play Grimsby Town. The game kicks off at 7pm. Admission for the game will be £10 for adults and £5 for concessions - Grimsby are reporting that all stands will be open for the game.
The match will be the first for Rovers since the collapse of the proposed takeover of the club, and also the first since the squad returned from their training camp in Portugal.
Grimsby will have five new signings on display, while Rovers are set to feature numerous trialists as Paul Dickov reviews the situation after having to delay recruitment due to the Ryan/Tomlinson bid for the club.
July 22, 2014
Dickov to meet owners today
Boss Paul Dickov is due to meet CEO Gavin Baldwin and Terry Bramall today to find out the extent of the budget he has available to recruit new players for the coming season. All inward transfers were halted until the proposed takeover was completed, but now the situation is known, things need to progress quickly, as there is the danger that some of the players that have been turning out for Rovers as trialists will look elsewhere if there is further delay.
Gavin Baldwin told the Doncaster Star yesterday: "Obviously this is a position no-one expected to be in at this stage of the season. A meeting with Paul and the owners is due to take place on Tuesday 22 July and at that meeting budgets for the forthcoming season will be discussed and Paul will be given the go-ahead to sign players. The owners have been quick to state that they wish to support Paul in order to achieve a return to the Championship."
A number of players are expected to sign once Paul Dickov gets the green light, but it will be interesting to see if improved deals for James Coppinger and Richie Wellens are rubber stamped today.
July 22, 2014
Youth team come 5th on Gothia Cup
Doncaster Rovers bowed out of the Gothia Cup in Sweden on Friday after being held to a 1-1 draw against IF Elfsborg - they were defeated 6-5 on penalties, but could have wrapped the game up as Jack McKay missed an early penalty for Rovers.
That meant that Rovers played Serbian side Red Star Belgrade in their final game of the competition, with Rovers winning the game 1-0, thanks to a 50th minute by Ryan Dunlop. That meant that Rovers finished the competition in fifth place, with three wins, one draw and one defeat during their week in Sweden.
Youth boss Paul Wilson commented: “The lads have been a credit to the club both on and off the field. They have been fantastic all week. When you look at a club as big as Newcastle United who finished 11th, it shows how well the boys have done, we’re all proud of their efforts.”
July 22, 2014
Johnstone gets chance on United's US tour
New Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is giving several young players at the club to prove themselves in Manchester United's pre-season tour of the United States, which flew out for four games last Friday.
Among the five youngsters to make the 25 man squad is Sam Johnstone, who played for Doncaster Rovers on loan last season.
Van Gaal is planning to spend the next three or four games assessing the players in the Manchester United squad before deciding on any departures or new signings.
United play their first game against Los Angeles Galaxy on Thursday before facing Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid in the "International Champions Cup", with the final being played in Miami on August 4th.
July 21, 2014
Dickov aims for promotion
Boss Paul Dickov knows that he is expected to deliver promotion to Doncaster Rovers this season, but the delay in signing new players due to the behind the scenes situation at the club is not helping.
Dickov told the Doncaster Free Press: "I’ve said all along the most pressure I have, is the pressure I put on myself to succeed. The club’s objective next season is to go straight back up. We’ll be in a group of about seven or eight teams who will have the same aim, and similar budgets."
"I want to succeed,” he added. I don’t ever want to have that feeling that I had at the end of last season at Leicester. The one thing we’ve got to have next season - as a staff, a club and especially as a group of players - is a winning mentality. We’ve spoken about it as a group already. We’ve spoken about having a winning mentality."
"As much as I wanted to win every game last season - because it’s in my nature - that was going to be impossible. Now, looking forward to this year, we want a group of players whose mentality is if they draw a game, then that’s not good enough. It’s going to happen, and we are going to lose games, but that mentality starts now. It starts in training, in pre-season games and we carry that all the way through the season. The group I’ve players I’ve got here are committed and they’re driven to going straight back up. Those are the type of players I want here.”
July 21, 2014
Woods signs for Orient
Former Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Gary Woods has signed a two year contract with Leyton Orient. He was released at the end of his one year contract with Watford, where he was third-choice keeper and did not make a single first team appearance for the club.
Woods began his career with Manchester United, but was released by them in 2008 and subsequently joined Doncaster Rovers, although he had to settle for understudy duties to Neil Sullivan for much of his stay at the club.
Following Rovers' promotion back to the Championship in 2013, he moved on to Watford. He becomes the second goalkeeper to sign for Leyton Orient this summer - they have already signed Adam Legzdnis, who joined from Derby County.
July 21, 2014
Bramall gives Dickov promotion budget
Major shareholder Terry Bramall has confirmed that Doncaster Rovers will be aiming for promotion this season, despite the last minute failure of the John Ryan / Louis Tomlinson takeover of the club.
Along with Dick Watson, Bramall unexpectedly finds himself still at the helm at the club, but is approaching the situation with a "positive attitude" and will continue to back Paul Dickov with a playing budget to bounce straight back into the Championship.
In a statement issued by Bramall, he said: "We appreciate the difficult situation Paul has found himself in through no fault of his own. The delay in transfer activity has of course had short term impact on our season preparations but we are hopeful as a board we can support Paul with a playing budget that allows him to achieve all of our ambitions for a return to the Championship."
"Whilst we did not expect to be in this position, the opportunity that has presented itself is one that is welcomed with a positive attitude. We are looking forward to working with Paul Dickov, Gavin Baldwin and the rest of the senior management team and they of course will have our full support."
The priority now will be for Paul Dickov's transfer targets to be signed up - with less than three weeks until the start of the new season, Rovers are yet to make their first signing of the summer.
July 21, 2014
Kyle back and keen to impress
Rovers winger Kyle Bennett is back at the club after being stuck on the sidelines last season, which meant that he had to go out on loan to get some match action. He spent some of the season on loan at Bradford City, but is now back with the Rovers squad for the last year of his contract and is keen to make the most of his opportunity to impress Paul Dickov.
He told DROS last week: “I’ve been out on loan last season which was tough. I wanted to be back playing but that wasn’t the case but its good to be back with the lads and the gaffer who's given me a chance."
He was part of the Rovers squad that travelled out to the training camp in Portugal last week and commented: “It’s difficult, you’ve got the heat and considering the sessions we’ve done for pre season its hard and it hurts, so it’s tough but you’ve got to deal with it. It's been a hard few days out here, but we all need it going in to the new season."
July 20, 2014
Dickov - won't wait too long for Miller
Rovers boss Paul Dickov is keen to sign striker Ishmael Miller, but has warned the player that he will not wait much longer for an answer.
Dickov sees Miller as a replacement for the Chris Brown, who left to join Blackburn Rovers earlier in the summer, but knows that he is hoping to be signed up by a Championship club.
Dickov told the Doncaster Star: "Ishmael cleaned my boots when he was a 16-year-old at Manchester City. He is someone we’ve spoken about. Ishmael, at the minute, is looking to get Championship football. That’s as far as it’s gone. We’ll be patient to a point. We’re not going to wait on answers for players so they can try and find something better. With certain players we have put deadlines on it.”
July 20, 2014
Timlin injury blow for new season
Former Doncaster Rovers loan midfielder Michael Timlin has been hit by another injury blow after dislocating his elbow during a behind closed doors friendly for Southend United against Tottenham Hotspur last week
The 31 year old is being assessed before the club will know how long he will be out of action for. He scored three goals in 43 games for Southend last season, but missed the last 17 games of the 2012/13 season with a broken leg.
July 20, 2014
Khumalo has to wait
Bongani Khumalo, who played for Doncaster Rovers on loan from Tottenham Hotspur last season, will have to wait a little longer before he can make a return to action this season.
The South African international was injured while playing for his country against Brazil in March, and has returned to Spurs to go through a rehabilitation programme. He was reported to be ahead of schedule in his recovery, but the club are playing it cautiously, and are holding him back in the fear that he will suffer a setback if he returns too soon.
As a result, it will be another six weeks before he can resume full training.
His agent, Glyn Binkin, commented: "Bongani has about six weeks to go with his recovery and is in good spirits. The first priority is to get him back fit and healthy and that is what we are working towards."
July 20, 2014
Cotterill 'relief' at escaping from League One
Welsh international winger David Cotterill has been speaking to the Birmingham press about his hope for a successful season now that he has moved from Rovers to Birmingham City.
The lure of Championship level football seems to have done the trick, although Lee Clark's continued interest certainly helped Cotterill make up his mind as to where to go.
He told the Birmingham Mail: “The manager has been looking at me for a while. Last summer I got linked to the club but nothing materialised. There was talk even when he was at Huddersfield but it never happened then either. I’m just happy it’s now over the line and that I’ve joined a great club like Birmingham."
"I always wanted to stay in the Championship, definitely. I didn’t want to go back down to League One because when I originally went there (in 2012, from Barnsley) I had two or three Championship clubs interested in me but I decided to join Dean Saunders because he knew me well from the Welsh squad. I have to admit I wasn’t really enjoying football at that point so I went down to League One and started to enjoy it again. But, if I’m honest, I don’t really want to be back there, which is why I came here."
"Doncaster treated me well and the fans were great to me. I mean this when I say I hope they get promoted because the chairman and the manager were great people."
July 19, 2014
Statement by Terry Bramall
Following yesterday's news that the proposed takeover by John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson has failed, the following statement by major shareholder Terry Bramall was issued on DROS:
“It was with reluctance we agreed to the takeover simply because we have been pleased with the journey the club has made since our time as owners both on and off the field. However John and Louis both have a clear passion for the club and we did not want to stand in their way.
"Our primary motive throughout the negotiations has been to secure the future of Doncaster Rovers and to ensure the club is in a position to thrive both on and off the field whilst protecting the future of all staff. Hence why we agreed to write off our loans to the club as part of the proposed takeover agreement
“Whilst we did not expect to be in this position, the opportunity that has presented itself is one that is welcomed with a positive attitude. We are looking forward to working with Paul Dickov, Gavin Baldwin and the rest of the senior management team and they of course will have our full support.
“We appreciate the difficult situation Paul has found himself in through no fault of his own. The delay in transfer activity has of course had short term impact on our season preparations but we are hopeful as a board we can support Paul with a playing budget that allows him to achieve all of our ambitions for a return to the Championship.”
July 19, 2014
Transfer targets - Plan B into action!
All summer, Paul Dickov has said that he has two lists of potential targets, either under the existing ownership and budgets, or if the takeover by Ryan/Tomlinson went through.
Following yesterday's news that the takeover has failed to be completed, it looks like Paul will have to work on his "Plan B" list, which presumably is based on a more modest wages budget.
Exactly where it leaves the likes of James Coppinger and Richie Wellens will be interesting to find out. Both had negotiated new deals subject to the takeover going through - but does Paul Dickov have the wages budget to persuade them to stay?
Dickov had several targets lined up to sign, many of who went out with the squad to their training camp in Portugal, but he is likely to seek urgent talks with the club's owners before being able to move forward.
It is frustrating that he has been prevented in signing players due to the takeover bid, which means that Rovers have not actually signed anyone this summer, with only three weeks to go to the opening League fixture of the season.
Reports earlier in the summer had hinted that the playing budget would be cut to £2 million as a consequence of relegation, but that was denied by Rovers, saying that Dickov would be given an "appropriate budget" to gain promotion.
Rovers have eleven players under contract, including Paul Quinn, who has failed to show for training so far. As far as we understand, those players under contract have 'relegation release' clauses, and face 50% wage cuts this season if they stay.
July 19, 2014
Ryan "finished with football"?
Former Rovers chairman John Ryan said that he was "finished with football" following the collapse of his joint bid with Louis Tomlinson to buy the club this week.
Frustrated with what he says are Football League regulations which prevented the bid going through, his reaction was to hint that he would walk away from the game altogether.
Speaking on BBC Radio Sheffield, he said: “I think it’s a scandal. I’ve not got any criminal convictions. I’ve given 20 years service to the Football League and this is the way I’ve been repaid. I think they’ve tightened up the regulations since a certain situation at Leeds and I feel I’ve been made a scapegoat. I’m finished with football now. I’m sick of it.”
The full audio version of his interview, which lasts over ten minutes, can be found by clicking on the photo to the left.
July 19, 2014
Parks takes up new job at Norwich
Former Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Tony Parks has bee appointed as a goalkeeping coach at Championship club Norwich City.
The 51 year old has been at Tottenham Hotspur for the last six years, but left the club this summer after the arrival of new boss Mauricio Pochottino.
His playing career began at Spurs in 1980 before moves to Oxford United (loan), Gillingham (loan), Brentford, QPR (loan), Fulham, West Ham United, Stoke City, Falkirk, Blackpool, Burnley, Doncaster Rovers (1997/98), Barrow, Scarborough and Halifax Town. He was manager at Halifax from 2000 to 2001.
He made six appearances for Rovers in the ill-fated 1997/98 relegation season.
July 19, 2014
Woods training with Hartlepool
Ex-Rovers midfielder Michael Woods has been training with Hartlepool United as he continues to look for a new club after leaving Harrogate Town this summer.
Woods has previously played for Chelsea, Yeovil Town and Rovers, and is hoping for a return to the Football League after having to rebuild his career following two serious leg injuries during his time with Chelsea.
July 19, 2014
Lincoln not signing Parkin
Lincoln City boss Gary Simpson is playing down the chances of former Rovers striker Jon Parkin signing for the club, with numerous reports 'jumping the gun' on the news.
Simpson has confirmed that the player is training with the club, but will not play in their game this afternoon against Chesterfield.
Simpson told the Lincolnshire Echo: “I think people have jumped the gun over Parkin. He was without a club and was training on his own. He approached other clubs about joining in with them, but they said no – we said yes."
"We are doing him a favour at the moment by allowing him to work with other players. As for him signing, well, a lot of water would have to go under the bridge before that would happen. I spoke to him about Chesterfield and asked him if he wanted to be involved, but he’s only had four days of training. He also wants to be careful as he does not want to get injured either.”
July 18, 2014
Disappointment all round as takeover falls
All interested parties are disappointed this morning after yesterday evening's news that the proposed takeover of Doncaster Rovers by John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson has failed. The exact details of what the problem was differs depending on who you listen to, but it appears that new stipulations by the Football League over the "fit and proper persons test" has claimed its first victim, with John Ryan claiming that the League have blocked their taking control of 85% of the shares in Rovers.
It seems there have been a number of meetings with League officials earlier this week, which seem to have come to a head yesterday when Ryan and Tomlinson decided to walk away after being told their offer did not meet new 'stringent' standards.
Ryan told the Yorkshire Post: “It is a disgrace. An absolute disgrace and a black day for football. We are the first people to suffer because of the new Football League rules over what, to them, constitutes a fit and proper person. They are trying to say we can’t fund it. But that is absolute nonsense."
He added: "I have had 20 years in the game and I would challenge anyone to look at my record and say, ‘He’s not been good for his club’. As for me, everything is over now. I am finished with football. Totally finished. The day when something like this happens is the day when it is time to walk away. As far as I am concerned, they (the Football League) can take a running jump."
Ryan and Tomlinson had come to an agreement with major shareholders Terry Bramall and Dick Watson to buy their part in the club, along with a number of smaller shareholders, but it means that Ryan will retain his 24% stake in the club.
The former Rovers chairman then said: "We are the first people to fall foul of this new approach by the Football League. The criteria is set so high now that I can’t imagine anyone will be able to pass the test. Certainly not in the lower leagues, at least. I asked the League if we had any chance of passing the test and they simply said ‘no’. I find that ridiculous. Basically, they (the League) are taking into account nothing but pure cash. But what about assets? I have assets, Louis certainly has assets. What we don’t have is £5m in cash sitting there, which is what the League seems to want. Who has that amount of cash? People have assets and that should be taken into account. How is anyone going to pass in the future? Maybe they should ask all the current owners to see if they can pass this new test. My guess is very few would be able to pass.”
The change in League rules seems to be a direct consequence of the Football League's failure to block Massimo Cellino's purchase of Leeds United, with the League's rejection of the deal overturned on legal appeal.
July 18, 2014
League statement
The Football League issued a statement regarding their rejection of the proposed takeover of Doncaster Rovers yesterday, which does appear to leave the door open for John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson to come back with a revised offer, although the pair now seem to have walked away from the deal.
A Football League spokesman said: "In any club takeover it is a requirement for the prospective purchaser to provide a business plan and to demonstrate that the funding is in place to deliver on that plan. This is part of the League’s ongoing efforts to ensure the financial sustainability of our clubs. In this case, this fundamental requirement has not yet been met. We are in close contact with the club and will continue our dialogue.”
July 18, 2014
Crowdfunder appeal fails to reach target
The closing deadline for the "Crowdfunder" scheme closed yesterday with the amount pledged standing well short of the £2 million target. The amount pledged stood at £757,796 from 514 backers, with £500,000 of that understood to have been pledged by Ryan and Tomlinson.
It was an ambitious target, which appeared to rely on support from fans of Louis Tomlinson and his One Direction group, but even with the incentives of various 'rewards', which varied depending on the amount pledged, does not seem to have generated enough interest.
Ryan and Tomlinson seem to have differing views on the significance of the Crowdfunder scheme failing. Ryan insists that there is no connection between the Crowdfunder appeal finishing short of target, while Tomlinson's statement seems to indicate that there is a connection.
July 18, 2014
Bramall and Watson remain in charge
Yesterday's news of the failure of John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson's attempts to buy Doncaster Rovers means that stewardship of the club remains in the hands of the existing shareholders, headed by Terry Bramall and Dick Watson, with John Ryan still having a 24% stake.
Speaking after the bid failed, John Ryan told the Doncaster Free Press: "It goes back to Terry now. I’ve spoken to Terry and I’ve wished him all the best. Doncaster Rovers needs him now. Our budget would’ve been a lot higher than the budget’s that going to be run to now, and we’ll probably lose some players. But hope springs eternal. I’m sure Terry will do his level best to get things sorted and I wish him all the best.”
July 18, 2014
Tomlinson's view on takeover failure
Prospective co-owner Louis Tomlinson has spoken out on Twitter over his disappointment over the collapse of the takeover of Doncaster Rovers yesterday.
An initial announcement of the failure of the takeover came via a statement on the Tomlinson Ryan Trust, but in an article in the Doncaster Free Press, they quote his comments on Twitter which said: "I’m absolutely gutted the Doncaster Rovers deal is not going ahead. I am desperate for the club to be given the recognition it deserves :(.
“I was explicitly told that the deal to buy the club was not dependent on the money raised by Crowdfunding . Unfortunately I was misled. My passion for Doncaster Rovers remains as strong as ever, and I hope that I can still be involved with the club moving forward! And to all the Doncaster Rovers fans , I will do all in my power to help the club succeed. I really do love the club !
July 18, 2014
Rovers statement
In typically economical style, Doncaster Rovers issued a very brief statement yesterday concerning the takeover.
An unnamed "spokesperson" is quoted as saying: "We have today received the statement on behalf of the Tomlinson Ryan Trust confirming the Crowdfunder project has failed to reach the terms of the funding arrangements."
"We are aware that the statement confirms that the proposed deal to takeover the club is now in doubt, we are awaiting formal confirmation that the takeover deal will not complete as expected on Friday 18 July."
July 18, 2014
Last day for big discounts on Colchester tickets
Supporters will have to move quickly if they are to benefit from a chance to buy tickets for the League One game at Colchester United at a discount of up to £7 per ticket.
Tickets must be bought before Monday, 21st July to benefit.
Prices are as follows:
Early Bird 14th-20th July - Adults £15 - Concessions £10.50 - 18-21 years £11.50 - 15-17 years £8.50 - 11-13 years £3.50 - 10 & under Free (up to 4 tickets per adult ticket) - additional under 11 tickets £1.00
Super Saver 21st July -3rd Aug - Adults £16.50 - Concessions £11.50 - 18-21 years £12.50 - 15-17 years £9.50 - 11-13 years £4.00 - 10 & under Free (up to 4 tickets per adult ticket) - additional under 11 tickets £1.00
Saver 4th-17th Aug - Adults £18 - Concessions £13- 18-21 years £14 - 15-17 years £10 - 11-13 years £4 - 10 & under Free (up to 4 tickets per adult ticket) - additional under 11 tickets £1.50
Advance 18th-22nd Aug - Adults £20 - Concessions £14 - 18-21 years £15 - 15-17 years £11 - 11-13 years £5- 10 & under Free (up to 4 tickets per adult ticket) - additional under 11 tickets £2.00
Match day 23rd Aug - Adults £22 - Concessions £16- 18-21 years £17 - 15-17 years £13 - 11-13 years £6 - 10 & under Free (up to 4 tickets per adult ticket) - additional under 11 tickets £2.00
Rovers have received an initial allocation of 484 tickets for the match, which is on Saturday, 23rd August. Tickets are now on general sale.
July 17, 2014
Gothia Cup update
Doncaster Rovers' under-18s squad made it two wins out of two games on Tuesday as they participate in the Gothia Cup in Malmo, Sweden, this week.
They won their opening game against Malmo 1-0, with Jack McKay's goal capping what Paul Wilson called an "excellent performance".
On Tuesday, Rovers faced Turkish club Besiktas and came out as 2-1 winners, with Jack McKay continuing his goal-scoring record by grabbing both goals, although Rovers had to come back from being 1-0 down at half time to taste victory - both goals coming from the penalty spot.
The two wins takes Rovers through to the quarter finals, and they are scheduled to face IF Elsborg today.
July 17, 2014
Maxted leaves after trial at Walsall
Goalkeeper Jon Maxted has left Doncaster Rovers after he decided to go on a trial to Walsall last week, it has been revealed.
Speaking in an article in the Doncaster Star, boss Paul Dickov has given his version of events, which differs somewhat from the story being put around by Maxted's agent.
Paul Dickov has said that a contract "was there for him", but Maxted still elected to go to try out for Walsall.
He said: “He did ask me that if he went down and it didn’t work out, could he come back and I said no. I don’t think it’s worked out with Walsall either. Jonny’s a good kid, just a bit naive at times. We told him we wanted him to stay here and progress the way he has come on last year. He, or more so his agent, thought it would be a good idea to go down to Walsall but it’s not worked out so we’re looking at other options now.”
However, Jon's agent, Will Arnett, gave a very different side to the story, saying: "He [Maxted] was in fact in receipt of a letter from the club at the end of the season stating that he would be made free for trial following the expiration of his contract. Despite numerous efforts to speak to the manager since December 2013 regarding Jon’s contract situation, the manager has not once been in contact with either myself or Jon to discuss the matter."
"Jon spent six years at Doncaster Rovers and would have certainly stayed on the right terms. As the club told him he was available for trial he visited Walsall for the day which he informed the club. When he asked the goalkeeping coach Paul Gerrard if he could return the following day to training at Doncaster Rovers, he was told not to bother."
Maxted came up through the Rovers' youth team, but had to settle for being third in the pecking order behind Sam Johnstone and Ross Turnbull last season.
July 17, 2014
York cup tickets now on sale
Tickets for Doncaster Rovers' away Capital One Cup game at York City are now on sale from the ticket office at the Keepmoat Stadium.
At the moment, only season ticket holders can buy tickets, but from Monday (21st July), multi-game ticket holders and Alliance members can also buy tickets.
Remaining tickets will go on general sale from Monday, 28th July.
Ticket prices for the game will be £15 for adults and £10 for concessions (senior citizens, students and unaccompanied juniors).
As part of the promotion by Capital One, adults can buy up to five children's tickets for just £1 each for all first round matches - but this only applies to tickets bought in advance and the child must be accompanied by an adult.
The game will be played at Bootham Crescent on Tuesday, 12th August with a 7:45pm kick-off.
July 17, 2014
Ben tries out for Bantams
Former Doncaster Rovers loan goalkeeper Ben Alnwick has been on trial at Bradford City, and has travelled to Ireland for their pre-season tour. He played for the first half of City's 3-0 win over Guiseley City on Saturday, with long-serving keeper Jon McLaughlin playing for the second half.
Boss Phil Parkinson told the Telegraph & Argus: "Jon’s come to Ireland with us. Ben also did well and we’ll probably have a discussion about that among the staff. The budget is very tight and I’ve got to get the best goalkeeper for the best price. Jon had an offer and he didn’t take that in the summer. We’ll sit down with him this week and have a chat. Jon’s fine about it. He’s a very good professional and he’s training hard. We’ve got to make sure that department’s strong. It would be foolish for us to sign some good attacking footballers and talented players, which I think we have, and neglect what is a very important position of any team – the goalkeeper.”
July 16, 2014
Huddersfield Town 3 Rovers 1
Doncaster Rovers played Huddersfield Town in the heat of Portugal yesterday as part of their pre-season training camp trip which lasts until Friday.
The game was played behind closed doors, with virtually no details of who played in the game mentioned.
Richie Wellens put Rovers ahead in the first half with a volley, but Huddersfield responded in the second half by scoring three goals - all by James Vaughan.
Rovers boss Paul Dickov commented to DROS after the game: “Physically and mentally the players have been tested and to get a positive response was the most pleasing aspect. I thought first half we had a more senior team out and that showed and with the likes of Copps, Wellens, Keegan and Clarke out there we looked strong and good."
"Yes we've lost a couple of goals at the end but we’ve ended up with a young team out there and it will be a fantastic experience for them. It’s difficult in the heat, Huddersfield have used 24 players and rotated them and maybe that told in the end."
July 16, 2014
Goals review
This may come as something of a shock, but Billy Sharp played half a game for Southampton on Tuesday evening as part of their pre-season game against Dutch side EHC Hoensbroek.
Southampton completely changed their side at half time in the game, with Sharp playing the whole second half, and scored their third goal from the penalty spot in their 4-0 victory.
In a game played at the weekend, ex-Rovers defender Gordon Greer scored for Brighton & Hove Albion in their 4-0 win against Partick Thistle. Another former Rovers player, Kazenga LuaLua, missed the game with what was described as a 'muscle issue'.
July 16, 2014
Sullivan steps up and Naylor out after reshuffle at Leeds
Former Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Neil Sullivan appears to have stepped up to become Leeds United's first team goalkeeping coach following the departure of Andy Leaning. It is the latest of a series of backroom changes made following the recent takeover at Elland Road, and Sullivan has travelled with the first team squad for their pre-season tour of Italy. Sullivan had been working with the youth team.
Leaning was brought to the club by ex-Rover Neil Redfearn when he was caretaker boss following Simon Grayson's sacking, but was retained when Brian McDermott was appointed last year.
Another victim of the changes is former Rovers defender Richard Naylor, who has been made redundant. He has left the club with immediate effect.
Naylor had been in charge of the under-18s squad at Leeds since 2012, and they won their league title in his first season in charge and remained in charge of the squad last season.
Ex-Rover Neil Redfearn remains on the staff at Leeds.
July 16, 2014
Beardsley signs for Stevenage
Ex-Rovers striker Chris Beardsley has signed a one year contract with Stevenage Borough following his release by Preston North End this summer.
Beardsley, now aged 30, had spent the latter part of last season on loan at Bristol Rovers, and returns to Stevenage, where he spent three years between 2009 and 2012, during which time he played 117 games and scored 22 goals.