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August 4, 2018
Southend United v Rovers
With the weather forecast expecting temperatures heading towards 30C, it must be time for the new football season to begin, and Rovers have a weekend at the seaside, with today's trip to Southend United.
Team selection for the first game of the season may be known to the Rovers staff, but to everyone else, there are a number of uncertainties about who is likely to start the game today.
Rovers have a number of new signings who could make their club debuts, with Ali Crawford shaking off a suspected groin injury sustained against Sheffield United to be fit, along with strikers Max Watters and Mallik Wilks, and this week's arrivals Paul Taylor and Herbie Kane. Alex Kiwomya is fit after overcoming a gluteal muscle injury.
As far as we can tell, only Mitchell Lund, who has an ankle issue, is injured at the moment. Issam Ben Khemis has also been ruled out due to suspected concussion after colliding with Andy Butler in training, and he has been sent for a CAT scan after suffering from headaches since that collision.
Southend United are hoping that goalkeeper Mark Oxley, who was ever-present for them last season, is fit to play after his missed their last pre-season game against Leyton Orient as a precaution.
They have also made a number of additions to their squad, with Timothee Dieng, Sam Mantom and Luke Hyam all arriving during the summer.
Winger Sam Barratt is doubtful with a bruised heel, and Dieng has been suffering from a calf problem in the last two weeks.
August 4, 2018
Today's match officials
The match officials named by the Football League for this afternoon's game at Southend United are:
Referee: Craig Hicks
Assistant referees: Paul Yates and Nicholas Cooper
Fourth Official : George Byrne
August 4, 2018
Rowe is new skipper
Midfielder Tommy Rowe has been named as the new team captain at Doncaster Rovers, taking over from James Coppinger. Andy Butler remains as the club captain.
Rowe was known to boss Grant McCann when the pair were at Peterborough United, with the change also coming about when Coppinger wanting to relinquish the role to concentrate on extending his record-breaking career.
McCann explained to DROS last week: "I spoke to Copps and he was pleased really, he said he was going to come and see me. He didn’t really want the responsibility this year. That was nice because I didn’t really have to explain it any further to him. But it’s more about Copps just concentrating on his game."
"I know Rowey. He’s been a captain at Peterborough, he’s been a successful captain. He won the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and got to the semi-finals of the play-offs as captain with Peterborough. A captain’s a captain. I think we’ve got loads of leaders in the changing room: Marquis, Butler, Coppinger, Rowe. They all can lead. Rowey will wear the armband and Butts will continue to do what he does because what he does, not only on the pitch but off the pitch, is brilliant."
August 4, 2018
Kane joins Rovers
Doncaster Rovers have confirmed that they have signed 19 year old Liverpool midfielder Herbie Kane on loan until January 2019. He becomes Grant McCann's fourth signing of the summer and was a regular in Liverpool's Under-19 and Under 23 squad last season. He is also an England youth international and is keen to make his mark at the Keepmoat Stadium.
After joining Rovers, he told the Yorkshire Post: "I am happy to be here, I have met a few of the lads and they seem like a good group so I’m looking forward to the start of the season. It was an important decision for me as it is my first loan spell, I know I will have to work hard to earn my place in the team. I am a hard working player, I like to score and assist as much as possible. There is plenty of competition for places which I am excited by."
He will come into contention for this afternoon's season opener against Southend United.
August 4, 2018
Taylor signs
On a busy Thursday, Doncaster Rovers followed up the acquisition of Herbie Kane by confirming that striker Paul Taylor has signed a one year contract with the club.
Taylor has been training with Rovers during pre-season, and is another player that Grant McCann knows from their time at Peterborough.
The 30 year old striker is eager to get started, possibly as early as this afternoon and said: "It has been great to be around the club during pre-season, and I’d like to thank the gaffer for offering me this contract. I’m looking forward to knuckling down and showing supporters just what I can do over the course of the season."
August 4, 2018
Morris moves to Tamworth
Young Rovers striker James Morris has joined Tamworth on a one month youth loan to gain some first team experience.
Morris has come up through the Rovers youth system and signed his first professional contract this summer. He made his first team debut for the club last season in the Checkatrade Trophy game against Sunderland's U23s last October.
August 4, 2018
Blaney joins Lambs for six months
Highly rated young Irish defender Shane Blaney has joined Tamworth on a six month loan with the intent of gaining more experience of first team football.
Blaney signed for Rovers from Irish club Finn Harps in January, but Rovers have decided that, instead of playing in the Development XI, it will benefit him more to play for Tamworth for the first half of the season.
Blaney told the Birmingham Mail: "I am very excited about this move. I needed to get out and play some games. I’m still developing at the moment and there are two or three experienced defenders at Doncaster. So I need to get some minutes. The club did their homework and know that Tamworth are a good footballing side. They have a good management team. Tim Harris and Mike Fowler are both lovely fellas."
"And the lads seem a really nice, good bunch too, very professional, so I am really, really happy with the move. I will have the best of both worlds really. I will be training with Tamworth on a Thursday and playing Tuesday and Saturdays. The rest of the time I will still be training with Doncaster, which will also be beneficial."
August 4, 2018
But McCoulsky's move to Rovers is off
Bristol City striker Shawn McCoulsky's move to Doncaster Rovers has been called off, with Rovers now pursuing other targets after doubts with McCoulsky's fitness.
McCoulsky had been out on loan at Newport County last season, at which time pericarditis was detected, which is the cause of Rovers' hesitation this summer.
McCann told the Doncaster Star last month: "I had a conversation with Lee Johnson in the early part of my days here. It was just speaking to him about Shawn, knowing what he'd done at Newport last year. But the boy is having a problem which I don't want to go into, with him not being too well."