Now, this is my first post since just before the Rovers were relegated, but the disappointment was soon washed away.
On the 18th of June I attended the fans’ forum which gave you the chance to hear the board member’s thoughts and plans coming into the summer. After hearing what John Ryan and Dick Watson had to say, I was definitely more approving.
However, it was new chief executive Gavin Baldwin that impressed the most with his enthusiasm for a plan to bring as much money into the club as possible, and ploughing any profit into the team budget. His obvious desire to make this plan happen makes fans feel that the club is in safe hands.
At the forum, John Ryan asked fans to support Dean Saunders in his task, as many were becoming impatient due to the lack of transfer activity.
It was well known that we could not bring any players in unless someone (more likely the higher earners) left the club. That’s where Saunders worked his magic. Not one contracted player has left, so Dean persuaded the board to help him out and allow him to bring some players in.
Robbie Blake, David Cotterill and David Syers – welcome to Doncaster.
All three recently brought in, and all on a free. Impressive, to say the least. This news has created a new air of confidence and excitement, as it marks the beginning of what should definitely be a busy summer. These signings were shortly followed by the news that there could be two more this week.
We have also had a bid for Stevenage defenders Jon Ashton and Mark Roberts turned down. It’s all hotting up now isn’t it?
Our Dean must have some cracking persuasive powers. I’m certainly more than impressed by the recent goings-on, and this is mainly due to the fact that the three new signings’ main reason seems to be Saunders himself. His enthusiasm is paying off! I personally cannot wait to see the side that he builds for League One.
Unfortunately, as stated, some contracted players will have to leave. James Coppinger, George Friend and Tommy Spurr are all good players, but may move on. Should they do so, we would possibly be given the chance to re-sign some whose contract has run out. For me, Simon Gillett is one who I would work endlessly to keep (who wouldn’t want to keep last season’s Player of the Year?) and Mustapha Dumbuya would also be good next season.
We’ve already lost out on local lad Sam Hird, who was offered the captain’s armband at Chesterfield, and hard-working striker James Hayter. I would hate to see us lose out on Gillett and Dumbuya, but someone has to go if we are to get them back. This means that there is a good chance that next season’s squad will be significantly different to last season’s. An exciting thought, yes.
Six youngsters have signed pro too, but most will go out on loan, unlike hot prospect James Husband at left-back. In my opinion he is the perfect replacement for highly-rated Tommy Spurr and Kyle Bennett could get the opportunity to fill James Coppinger’s boots. It seems inevitable that players like Coppinger will be sold, as we try to reduce the wage bill.
However, the younger players now have the chance to learn from colleagues who have experience. ‘Keeper Gary Woods will undoubtedly be listening to veteran Neil Sullivan, and Robbie Blake could teach the forwards a few things. This mixture of experience and young blood should come in handy next season as the manager tries to drill desire and enthusiasm, and hopefully a bit of passion, into the team. Some will without a doubt be keen to impress, but I’m sure Saunders will get his point across to the players and that he will only bring players in that have the right attitude.
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