June 21, 2017
Ferguson to give youth a chance
Boss Darren Ferguson intends to give the club's younger players the chance to shine next season, building on the chances given to the likes of Liam Mandeville and Will Longbottom last season.
They are likely to be given first team experience in the Checkatrade Trophy games, following the pattern taken by Ferguson last term, with the club's Development Squad set to play a big part in the transition from youth team level to first team.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "With the young players, sometimes they go away for the summer and they come back as men. You see a big change in them. They grow and develop physically over the summer months and you see a big difference in them."
"I think Longbottom has got a big future, I really do. Other people like Alfie May and Alfie Beestin, it’s their first pre-seasons with us. That will make a big difference to them. They’ll kick on as players. They’ve got a bright future and a big future at the club. I think everyone knows I want to give the young players as many games as possible."
June 21, 2017
Gills list Nelson - again!
Not for the first time, Gillingham have placed experienced former Rovers goalkeeper Stuart Nelson on the transfer list this summer. However, he has been 'listed' in the past by the club and responded by fighting off competition of newly arrived keepers, so who knows this time?
Gillingham have offered new contracts to four players this summer, with eight released at the end of their contracts. Stuart Nelson and midfielder Billy Knott are still under contract at Priestfield, but have been listed as available for transfer.
June 21, 2017
Green offered new contract by Oldham
Oldham Athletic have offered former Rovers midfielder Paul Green a new contract for next season, after his current deal expired this summer.
Green, who controversially quit Rovers after featuring in their League One play-off victory against Leeds United at Wembley in 2008, joined Oldham last summer and went on to play in 47 first team games.
Since leaving Rovers, he has played for Derby County (2008-2012), Leeds United (2012-2014), Ipswich Town (loan, 2014) and Rotherham United (2014-2016).
June 21, 2017
Rovers linked with Fylde striker
Doncaster Rovers are being linked with striker Danny Rowe, who scored 37 goals for AFC Fylde on the way to their National League North title.
Rovers are reported to be in competition with Peterborough United for his signature, with Rowe joining Fylde from Macclesfield Town in 2014.
The 28 year old was named as the division's Player of the Year last season.
June 21, 2017
McSheffrey frustrated at unfulfilled Rovers career
Experienced striker Gary McSheffrey has spoken of his frustration over the decision made by Doncaster Rovers to release him at the end of an injury-hit season with the club.
McSheffrey did enough last season while on loan from Scunthorpe United to land a full transfer, but injuries kept him out of the side for large chunks of the season - and it proved to be key in boss Darren Ferguson's decision to let him go.
McSheffrey told the Coventry Telegraph: "I’m disappointed to be leaving Doncaster because I feel it’s an unfulfilled spell and I feel I could have offered a lot more. I started off really well and then got injured in the Coventry game in League One and it took too long, was mis-managed in the first place really. But I have been fit and available for the last three and a half months of the season and been involved in every game. Unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of opportunity to get match fit because obviously I was coming back into a team that was top of the league. But I got five assists, started three on the spin in that time. It’s disappointing that it has come to an end but it’s just one of those things."
He is determined to play on, though, and added: "I have had an eight or nine month breather because of the injury and I feel refreshed. I’m fine now and hopefully I’ll get a good pre-season and kick-on. I’ve always said I’ll keep playing as long as I am enjoying it. Everyone says you’re a long time retired and as long as you have got something to offer, which I think I have, then I’ll keep going. When I played my last full season I contributed a lot. My form was good at Scunthorpe and when I went to Doncaster, initially, it was really good but it’s just an injury that has unfortunately taken too long to get over that has taken its toll. But it’s fine now and I’ll have a couple of weeks off and just see what options are around for next season."
June 17, 2017
Cotterill can leave Blues
Former Doncaster Rovers winger David Cotterill has been told that he is free to find another club, even though he still has a year to go on his contract at Birmingham City.
However, he spent the second half of last season on loan at Bristol City and was told he was surplus to requirements by former Blues boss Gianfranco Zola.
A move back to Bristol City is one option on the cards, but Derby County and Queens Park Rangers are reported to be interested in signing the Welsh international.
June 17, 2017
Butler impressed by Mason
Rovers club captain Andy Butler has been impressed by the form and adaptability of Niall Mason, who has signed a permanent transfer this summer after being on loan at Rovers last season.
Speaking to the Doncaster Star, Andy said: "Niall’s been excellent since he came into the team. As players we didn’t know much about him to be fair but he came in and goes about his job like any other player. He’s been put in a lot of different positions and I think he did well in all of them. I don’t think there’s a position where he’s struggled. He’s played in a back three, back four, left back, right back, right of a diamond, sitting midfielder - and he just gets on with it. There’s no prima donna about him. You know what you’re going to get from Niall every day. He’s great to have around the club. He fitted in with the group seamlessly."
June 17, 2017
Bywater offered new Brewers contract
Five players, including last year's first choice goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin, have been released by Burton Albion, who successfully stayed in the Championship last season, finishing just one point above the relegation places.
However, former Rovers goalkeeper Stephen Bywater has been offered a new contract by the club, and played the final three games of the season. Boss Nigel Clough has heavily hinted that the ex-Rover could play a bigger part in the Burton side next season, telling Burton's official club web site: "We just feel that we want to move into a different direction with a different kind of goalkeeper. If we start the season with Stephen, I don't think anybody will be too disappointed with that."
June 17, 2017
Williamson released by Wolves
Ex-Rovers loan defender Mike Williamson has been released by Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers, who has only been at the club since joining on a full transfer in January 2017 after impressing in a loan spell.
Injuries have limited the 33 year old to just six appearances during that time.
Williamson spent the last part of the 2003/04 season on loan at Rovers, hardly impressing during that time, but went on to have a highly successful time at Newcastle United between January 2010 and January 2016, during which time he made over 150 appearances for the Toon.
June 17, 2017
Kilgallon offered new deal
Former Rovers loan defender Matthew Kilgallon has been offered a new contract with Bradford City, who reached the League One play-offs this last season.
He is one of six players to be offered new terms as they reshape their squad ahead of the 2017/18 season.
Kilgallon played in 12 games for Rovers during the second half of the 2010/11 season in the Championship while on loan from Sunderland, but went on to join Blackburn Rovers on a full transfer in July 2013, staying until August 2016, when he made the move to Valley Parade.
June 17, 2017
Stuckmann leaves Spireites
Ex-Rovers goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann is one of twelve players who will be leaving Chesterfield this summer.
He joined the club after leaving Partick Thistle in February 2017, and went on to make 15 appearances for the club, but Chesterfield finished rock bottom of the League One table, hence the mass clear out of players, although they have offered new contracts to four players. Ex-Rover Sam Hird remains under contract with the club.
Stuckmann joined Rovers from Preston North End on a free transfer in June 2015, but was dropped by Darren Ferguson after a number of poor performances and left the club to join Partick Thistle in the summer of 2016.
June 14, 2017
Kyle on radar for Dundee, but could stay at York
Former Rovers loan goalkeeper Kyle Letheren is reported to be interesting Scottish club Dundee, who is out of contract after reaching the end of his deal at York City, who were relegated from the National League this summer.
However, he is open to the idea of staying at York, but has told City's manager Gary Mills that he is also speaking to other clubs, including some in the National League as well as north of the Scottish border.
Kyle told the York Press: "I have spoken to the manager and he asked me if I would like to stay. I’ve told him I’m open to it, but I don’t want to lie to anybody, because I am speaking to other clubs. I’ve had discussions with another National League team and taken a few phone calls from back in Scotland, where I’ve got most of my reputation, but the ball is firmly in York’s court. I’m hoping to stay and, if they want me to, I will listen to any offer that comes my way. I’ve got a family to feed as well though and I need to do my best by them, so it’s up in the air."
Letheren had a good season, despite the club's poor fortunes, winning the "Player of the Year" award from the York Press, coming six points ahead of ex-Rovers loan striker Jon Parkin.
June 14, 2017
Quinn and Gobern leaves Staggies
Ex-Rovers defender Paul Quinn has been released by SPL club Ross County after struggling with a hamstring injury for much of this season. Also released by the club is ex-Rover Oscar Gobern, as boss Jim McIntyre begins to rebuild his squad for next season, after finishing in seventh place last season.
McIntyre confirmed to the Strathspey Herald: "All players have had limited game time since January, but the club would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their services to Ross County and wish them all the best for their future careers."
Another former Rovers player, midfielder Martin Woods, has triggered a one year extension of his contract, but has been told that he is free to find another club.
June 14, 2017
Bradley joins Mickleover
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Bradley Grayson has joined Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division club Mickleover Sports after leaving NLP club Buxton at the end of last season, where he scored 28 goals in all competitions.
Since leaving Rovers, he has regularly been on the move, playing at Frickley Athletic, Matlock Town, Stocksbridge Park Steels and Buxton, before playing for Swedish club Ange IF, Australian club Cumberland FC and Loyola Mercalo Sparks, who play in the Philippines.
June 14, 2017
Brown joins Rochdale
Ex-Rovers loan defender Reece Brown, the younger brother of former Manchester United defender Wes, has joined League Two club Rochdale after being released by Bury, where he spent the second half of last season. During his career, he has also played for Watford, Barnsley and Sheffield United after starting off his career on the books at Manchester United.
June 14, 2017
Ferguson in talks with three Premier League players
Boss Darren Ferguson is in talks with three players currently at Premier League clubs as he tries to strengthen his squad ahead of the new League One season.
He is hoping to bring in a defender on a permanent deal, as well as signing two players on loan.
He has already completed the transfer of Aston Villa Niall Mason, who spent all last season on loan at the club, and Grimsby defender Danny Andrew, and it is understood that he will confirm the season-long loan signing of Sheffield United midfielder Ben Whiteman later this month.
As last season, Ferguson is keen to complete his squad rebuilding as soon as possible, and told the Doncaster Free Press: "We`re waiting on a decision from a centre half from the Premier League to take on a permanent. That decision will be this week and we`re close on that. It`s between us and one other club. I`ve met the player, had good talks with him and we`ll see where it goes. Obviously if it does not happen, we`ve got other options."
And of the approaches for the two players on loan, he added: "They would be coming in on the first day of pre-season if they do come. Then it would be happy days and I think we`d be in a very good position."
June 14, 2017
No Rovers return for Anderson
The chances of Crystal Palace striker Keshi Anderson returning to Doncaster Rovers have evaporated after boss Darren Ferguson has identified that Rovers need a different "sort of player" for next season.
That comes despite comments last season that Ferguson would be keen on a return for the youngster, who had a successful loan spell at Rovers in the 2015/16, which ended with a badly broken leg, which ruled him out of much of last season.
Anderson is out of contract at Palace this summer, but Ferguson said of the situation: “I like Keshi a lot but I just don’t know if he’s the sort of player we need. Certainly I feel we need a bit more pace and power up front. Keshi is more of a number ten I think and I don’t think we need that when we’ve got Liam Mandeville at the club."
June 12, 2017
Rovers relay pitch
The annual renovation of the pitch at the Keepmoat Stadium started last week, with the removal of the grass, leaving just the artificial element, the Desso fibres, remaining.
A new sand layer was then added with the pitch then re-seeded, which should allow it time to grow sufficiently and be ready for the first home pre-season game of the summer on July 18th, when Derby County will be the visitors.
Head groundsman James Davison told DROS: "We received a lot of compliments for our pitch last season, and people can’t quite believe how good it looked given Rovers, the Dons and the Belles all play first-team fixtures on it. But the reason the pitch can cope with the amount of games is because of the hard work put in at this time of the year preparing it."
June 12, 2017
Ferguson plans development group to bridge gap
Rovers manager Darren Ferguson has revealed plans to form a "development group" which will aid the progress of players coming through from the youth team, so that they can develop before joining the first team squad.
The plan is for the club to re-join the Final Third Development League, which will give competitive games for that group of players, with the likes of Alfie Beestin and Tony Donaldson set to benefit from the new scheme.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "We’re going to have another group next season that will be classed as the development group. They’ll do extra sessions and things like that. And we’ll add people to that and chop and change who plays in certain games. But I feel we’re in a position now where we want to do that. I didn’t think we were last season and the intention is to keep adding to that group because I think it’s really vital that we get young players through."
"A big thing for me is that we get our own young players through. That may take a little longer, but it’s certainly one of the aims for the club moving forward."
June 12, 2017
Greer released by Blackburn
Former Doncaster Rovers centre back Gordon Greer is one of eight players to by released by Blackburn Rovers at the end of their contracts, as the club look to regroup following their relegation from the Championship to League One.
Also leaving the club this summer are skipper Jason Lowe after a seven year stay at the club, defenders Adam Henley, Wes Brown, Gordon Greer and Joshua Askew, midfielders Hope Akpan and Danny Guthrie and striker Ramirez Howarth.
Greer, now a Scottish international, joined Blackburn last summer after being released by Brighton & Hove Albion, where had been since 2010.
June 12, 2017
Turner released after Tranmere fail to win promotion
Ex-Rovers loan goalkeeper Iain Turner is one of six players to be released by Tranmere Rovers after the club failed to win promotion back to the Football League. Tranmere have offered five players new contracts, with the club also planning to offer new terms to a further five players.
Tranmere lost the play-off final against Forest Green Rovers at Wembley on 14th May.
Turner joined Tranmere last summer as the latest club in a rather nomadic career, although the majority of his moves have been on loan while being on the books at Everton.
June 12, 2017
Bradley returns to Linlithgow as new boss
Ex-Rovers midfielder Mark Bradley has been appointed as the new manager at Linlithgow Rose, taking the role for a second time at the East Region Superleague club in Scotland.
He had previously had a very successful time at the club between 2011 and 2014, when they won the Superleague title in 2012/13 and the Scottish Junior Cup final.
Mark holds the distinction of playing for Doncaster Rovers just once - in their first game in the Conference at Dover Athletic following Rovers' relegation from the Football League in 1998.
Since then, his whole career has been north of the border, playing for Dumbarton, then joining Linlithgow as a player in 2007.
June 12, 2017
Kilgallon offered new terms by Bantams
Ex-Doncaster Rovers loan defender Matthew Kilgallon has been offered a new contract by Bradford City, with his previous deal expiring this summer.
He is one of six players to be offered new terms by the League One club, who suffered defeat in the League One play-off final against Millwall last season.
Bradford delayed news of which players were to be retained and released until after the play-off final, as their decision would depend on which division they were to play in next season.
Kilgallon joined Bradford City in the summer of 2016 after a three year stay at Blackburn Rovers.
He had a loan spell at Doncaster Rovers in early 2011 while on the books at Sunderland.
June 10, 2017
Ferguson relaxed over negotiations with Marquis
Boss Darren Ferguson is not concerned over the delay in persuading top scorer John Marquis to sign an extension to his contract with Doncaster Rovers.
The club opened negotiations with the striker before the end of the season, but are yet to come to an agreement. Marquis has twelve months left on his present deal.
Darren explained: "His agent has been on and he understands the situation. We’re getting closer I feel. I’ve no real concerns. I think John has gone on holiday now and we’ll probably get that done when he’s back. It might not even get done until we come back for pre-season. I’ve no concerns on it. “The agent and I both spoke on it and we’re confident it’ll get done."
Further new signings are understood to be close, with a central defender from a Premier League club set to join on a permanent deal, but Rovers are waiting for a decision from the player.
June 10, 2017
Paynter and Jones leave Pools
Former Rovers players Billy Paynter and Rob Jones are among nine players leaving Hartlepool United this summer at the end of their contracts as they regroup following their relegation from the Football League this summer.
Paynter scored 19 goals in 61 games over two seasons at the club, and was part of the coaching team for the final few games of last season after former boss Dave Jones left the club.
The departure of Rob Jones was not a big surprise after only playing five games last season due to injuries - and only played the whole 90 minutes of one game, which was the opening game of the season. That was in contrast to the previous season, when he was a mainstay of the side under the managership of Craig Hignett.
June 10, 2017
Fergie dismisses interest in Madden
Rovers manager Darren Ferguson has dampened speculation that he is interested in signing Scunthorpe United striker Paddy Madden, who scored 11 goals in 34 games for the Iron last season.
He told the Doncaster Star: "I like him and he’s a good player but no, we’re not interested."
June 10, 2017
Baxendale shows off skills on YouTube
Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder James Baxendale is making more efforts than most players in his efforts to find a new club after being released by Mansfield Town at the end of last season.
The 24 year old has compiled a video collection of his goals, skills and career statistics on YouTube in the hope that it will be seen by potential new employers.
He is one of 11 players leaving League Two club Mansfield Town this summer, and posted a message on Twitter saying: "Put together a YouTube channel with a few videos of me playing soccer for your viewing pleasure/displeasure."
Baxendale started off in the Leeds United youth team, but joined Rovers in 2011, which was followed by spells at Buxton and Hereford before joining Walsall, where he played 122 games. James joined Mansfield in January 2016, but the Stags' failure to reach the League Two play-offs has led to a big clear-out by boss Steve Evans.
June 10, 2017
Bowery leaves Orient and joins Crewe
Former Doncaster Rovers loan striker Jordan Bowery has been left relegated League Two club Leyton Orient and signed for Crewe Alexandra on a two year contract.
He joins on a free transfer to become Crewe's first signing of the summer, with boss David Artell saying: "It’s always good to get a bit of business done early because they are your top targets. It was one of the easier ones. He’s someone we want here and we think he’ll improve us. He’ll be a great signing for this football club."
Bowery joined Crewe on loan in January and was a key player in their climb away from the relegation places, but he has joined on a free transfer after triggering a clause in his Leyton Orient contract which allowed him to leave if the club were relegated.
June 9, 2017
Dundee United consider move for Aaron
Rovers left back Aaron Taylor-Sinclair is interesting SPL club Dundee United after being released by Doncaster Rovers at the end of last season.
Born in Scotland, Taylor-Sinclair began his career with Montrose before moving to Partick Thistle, making his first move to England in 2014 with Wigan Athletic, joining Doncaster Rovers in 2015.
He spent most of last season in the treatment room recovering from injury suffered in the closing match of the previous campaign, and the Dundee Evening Telegraph are reporting that the Tangerines are most likely to invite him to join for trials when their squad report back for pre-season training.
June 9, 2017
Two more pre-season games for Rovers
Doncaster Rovers have added two more games to their pre-season campaign, with the club now set to play Sheffield Wednesday and Chesterfield in addition to the previously arranged games.
Sheffield Wednesday will visit the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday, 25th July, with that game kicking off at 7:30pm, while Chesterfield will be the opponents for Rovers' final game before the League One season starts, with that game being played at the Proact Stadium on Saturday, 29th July (kick-off 3pm).
The club have now confirmed what we suspected earlier this week, that the game at Gainsborough Trinity on Monday, 31st July will involve the Rovers youth team.
The full first team set of pre-season games is therefore:
Tuesday, 11th July - Armthorpe Welfare (away) kick-off 7.30pm
Saturday, 15th July - Tadcaster Albion (away), kick-off 3pm
Tuesday, 18th July - Derby County (home) , kick-off 7.45pm
Saturday, 22nd July - Guiseley AFC (away), kick-off 3pm
Tuesday, 25th July - Sheffield Wednesday (home), kick-off 7.30pm
Saturday, 29th July - Chesterfield (away), kick-off 3pm
June 9, 2017
Wilson returns to Yeovil
Ex-Rovers youth team manager Paul Wilson has joined Yeovil Town as their Academy Manager. He had been at Grimsby Town as youth development coach last season, but disappeared from his duties there during the season.
The move means he returns to the club where he ended his playing career in 1994/95, after which he joined Scunthorpe United as their Youth Development Officer. Paul made the move to his hometown club, Doncaster Rovers, in 2005, staying until July 2016.
June 9, 2017
Rovers to take Blades youngster on loan
Doncaster Rovers have come to an agreement with Sheffield United to take midfielder Ben Whiteman on loan next season, although the move has not yet been completed.
Boss Darren Ferguson has previously said that any loan players coming in next season need to be at Rovers for the whole of the pre-season period, so the loan will presumably be confirmed before the end of this month.
Whiteman went on loan to Mansfield Town last season, scoring seven goals in 23 games; he has made eight first team games for Sheffield United since making his debut in November 2014.
Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder does not expect Whiteman to receive any special treatment during his loan, but they clearly hope that he will continue his progress after United's coaching staff were impressed by the way Whiteman improved during his time at Mansfield, leading them to open talks with Rovers about a loan move to the Keepmoat Stadium.
Wilder told the Sheffield Star: "We’d like to get the younger lads out if we can. They’ve got bright futures here with us but they’ll benefit from regular football right now."
"I think it’s good for their development. They’ll benefit from it and, going forward, we should as club too. We’ll only consider them sending to clubs we know will bring them on properly and where they’ll benefit from being. We won’t just send them out anywhere."
"We don’t want them to have guarantees on loan because that’s not what football is all about. Nobody does you a favour. Yes, there has to be a bit of a vision, in terms of where you send them and how that team plays its football. But they’ve got to be able to compete."
June 9, 2017
Rovers to enter reserves into league
Doncaster Rovers have applied to rejoin the Final Third Development League for the coming season after opting to pull the team out of a league structure last summer, instead relying on a series of practice matches.
However, Darren Ferguson now feels that Rovers will have enough players to enter a team in the league this year, which will act as a midway stage between youth team and first team, and is likely to mainly comprise of the younger first team squad players and some of the second year youth teamers.
Ferguson commented to the Doncaster Star: "The reserve thing is always a difficult one, in terms of do you go in a reserve league or do you not? The league we’re going to be in, there was only six or seven teams in it this season. We’re just finding out how many teams are going to be in it."
"We’re also going to have friendlies. We’ve had quite a lot of friendlies this season at Cantley. We’ve played against local teams like Scunthorpe and Chesterfield and we’ve found that it’s been quite a good experience for the younger players."
June 9, 2017
Turnbull released by Leeds
Ex-Doncaster Rovers goalkeeper Ross Turnbull has been released by Leeds United after being told that his contract with the club will not be renewed when it expires this summer.
Turnbull has had a time to forget at Leeds, suffering a broken ankle shortly after moving to the club in July 2015, and never really had the chance to stake a claim in their first team after that, with others brought into the club while he was on the sidelines.
June 9, 2017
Liam leaves Morecambe
Former Doncaster Rovers defender Liam Wakefield will be leaving League Two club Morecambe and the end of his contract this summer, despite featuring for their first team regularly last season. He is one of only two players to be released this summer, with seven more offered contract extensions, with a further two still having talks over their futures at the club.
A former youth teamer, Liam left Rovers in the summer of 2015 after turning down the offer of a new deal, initially moving to Accrington Stanley on a short term contract before joining Morecambe.
June 7, 2017
Rovers head north for pre-season training camp
The Doncaster Rovers squad will be heading to St Andrews University in Scotland for a five days training camp as part of their preparation for the new season.
Darren Ferguson has decided to take the squad back to Scotland for five days before their opening pre-season game at Armthorpe Welfare on July 11th, after he deemed a similar move last year to be a great success.
Past years have seen short trips abroad as part of the pre-season training, but Ferguson thinks something closer to home will be more beneficial.
Speaking to the Doncaster Star, he explained: "I’m not a massive fan of taking them to Portugal or Spain. I’ve done that in the past with Peterborough. Scotland was outstanding when we went last year and the players loved it. The facilities we’re going to this year at St Andrews are fantastic. Luckily we got good weather last year."
He added: "We go up there on the Thursday (6th July) and we might have a game on the Saturday. Then it’ll be back down here on the Monday. Those four days will be enough to break up pre-season, bed the new lads in and be 24/7 with the players, which is important. I think it’s important to get them away for a few days."
June 7, 2017
Johnstone set for Villa return
Former Rovers loan goalkeeper Sam Johnstone is wanted by Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce, who has already had a number of talks with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho. The United boss is reportedly agreeable to Johnstone returning to Villa Park, although with the keeper having only signed a new contract at Old Trafford last year, another move on loan is the most likely option at the moment.
June 7, 2017
Fergie denies link with duo
Boss Darren Ferguson has flatly denied that he has any plans to sign Peterborough's midfield duo of Michael Bostwick and Marcus Maddison, both of who will not be offered new contracts by Boro'.
With the release of Paul Keegan, the transfer listing of Harry Middleton and the return of Conor Grant to Everton, Ferguson needs to strengthen midfield, but Bostwick and Maddison are not part of those plans. The Rovers boss wants more 'physicality' in midfield next season.
To sum up the situation, he told the Doncaster Star "There’s nothing in that. I won’t be going trying to sign any Peterborough players."
June 7, 2017
Enda moves to Blades for Championship football
Former Doncaster Rovers loan defender Enda Stevens will be playing Championship football next season after agreeing a transfer from League Two champions Portsmouth to League One champions Sheffield United.
His contract ran out at the end of last season, leaving the Irishman free to make the move.
After completing the transfer, Enda said: "I’m delighted the paperwork has been done early. It gives me the chance to settle in and concentrate on my football as soon as we report back for pre-season training. I enjoyed working under the gaffer (Chris Wilder) for a short spell at Northampton and how he plays the game is similar to the approach at Portsmouth so hopefully it will be a smooth transition."
Blades boss Chris Wilder commented: "We had Enda at Northampton on loan and it was clear he needed to play regular football. He’s done that over the last couple of years and picked up a few honours at Portsmouth. He is an attacking full-back and the way we play, the wide areas are important – Enda provides us with extra options. He is a good age and has designs to play international football."
June 7, 2017
Rovers eye Championship return
Rovers' CEO, Gavin Baldwin, has heavily hinted that the players that Doncaster Rovers sign this season will be with one eye to playing in the Championship before too long, and while they are primarily being signed to do well next season, there will be the hope that those players will stay with the club, should they get another promotion.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post recently, Baldwin said: "Our recruitment will be specific to doing very well in League One next year, but should we be fortunate enough to get to the Championship, we would want those players to be with us there as well. We are looking at a mix of loans and contracted players and extending contracts. Within the squad, there are players with different lengths of contract and we have to find players that we would want to retain if we should be fortunate enough to make the Championship. We have already extended quite a few contracts."
As was the case last summer, Rovers are keen to do the bulk of their transfer business early in the summer break, with Baldwin adding: "Darren has identified five or six positions we’d like to fill to bring some added depth and that is exactly what we are doing. Getting promoted early was really fortunate. It means that we sat down weeks ago and spoke about what the squad needs to look like next year."
"We are already having some really good conversations with players and their clubs. “We have clearly identified targets who we are talking to now and making progress with. The vision of the club still (ultimately) remains to be a successful Championship club. The funds that the owners have made available for next year is again generous. The emphasis is on myself and Darren to recruit well and prepare the team for every game. If we do that, we have a good chance of success."
June 7, 2017
Parkin turns down 'big' offers to stay with York
Ex-Rovers loan striker Jon Parkin has turned down "much bigger contracts" to stay with York City, even though they were relegated from the National League at the end of last season.
Parkin was the Minstermen's top scorer last season with 15 goals to his name, but has decided to stay with the club for another twelve months.
City boss Gary Mills told the York Press: "Jon had a chance to stay in the National League on a lot more money, but turning that down shows the magnitude of the man, because I’m not talking about a £5 difference. He could have got a much bigger contract than we have given him, but he enjoyed his football and being here and wants to put right what happened this season, which is the type of character we need going forward."
"When I signed him, he told me he’d never been relegated and didn’t intend to make this season the first time, so what’s happened hurt him, as it did us all and, if I can keep the majority of this group together, I think we can carry on the spirit and togetherness we’ve had for the last five months."
"There’s not many better around as a footballer and a man than Jon as far as I’m concerned, so I’m delighted to have him here for next season. Hopefully, players will have seen Jon sign and will now follow suit, because I want the majority of the group we had from January to stay and we’re looking to sort out the contracts to do that. It’s always difficult to be the first one but I think Jon being that man is a great statement for us moving forward."
June 7, 2017
Armstrong stays on at Spartans
Former Doncaster Rovers striker Alun Armstrong will be staying on as manager of Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division champions Blyth Spartans for another season after agreeing a new contract with the club.
In his first season at the club, Armstrong guided the club to promotion, as well as winning the Techflow Group Northumberland Senior Cup.
After the deal had been agreed for a new twelve month contract with the option of another year after that, Alun said: "I know the club had the option to extend it anyway, but it’s great to be staying and I’m over the moon – especially after what happened last year. I don’t think anyone expected to go the way it did, to be honest. I spoke to Tony Platten and Kevin Scott and they said they’d come back to me with a deal. Fair play to them – as they got it sorted really quickly, which I was very pleased about."
"I was trying to sort pre-season and get the lads signed up, but I couldn’t really get anything sorted until I was done. There was no point me signing up all the lads if I wasn’t going to be there. I’m just glad the club has moved quite quickly to get it sorted and we can start looking forward to preparing for next season now."
He added: "I’ll stay wherever I’m enjoying it. I’m enjoying it at the moment and it’s been great; the lads are great. Everyone wants to progress, don’t get me wrong. Otherwise, they wouldn’t be involved in the game – as everyone wants to get to that top level. I’m still learning though and I learnt quite a lot last year. Probably a lot more than people thought. It’s probably best that, at this moment in time, I stay where I am and keep learning my trade. This is a great club and, after the year we’ve had, I’ve just got make sure we consolidate – first and foremost – and then see where it takes us from there."
June 5, 2017
Ferguson disappointed in enquiries
Darren Ferguson has been disappointed in the level of interest shown in the five players he placed on the transfer list at the end of last season.
The Rovers boss is keen to get those players signed up with new clubs, as it will free some money from his playing budget. The players concerned - Andy Williams, Harry Middleton, Mitchell Lund, Cedric Evina and Ross Etheridge - are unlikely to be selected next season unless Ferguson fails to land the players he has targeted for this summer.
Speaking to the Doncaster Star, he said: "I have to be honest, there’s not as much interest as I thought there would be. The ideal situation would be for them to leave. I’ve made my decision. If I do get the players that I want, certainly the first choice players, it would become even more difficult for those I’m happy to move on."
He added: "The players that we bring in, first and foremost, we’ve got to get them in first. And the budget I’ve got would allow me to do that. I would eventually have to get to the situation where I need to get some out. But fortunately, we can get the ones we want in without getting others out. We’re trying to do both if we can."
June 5, 2017
Rovers set for Gainsborough friendly
Gainsborough Trinity have announced a pre-season friendly against Doncaster Rovers, which has been arranged for Monday, 31st July with a 7:45pm kick-off.
It marks the final game in their preparations for next season, with the National League season starting on Saturday, 5th August.
While the announcement has yet to be confirmed by Doncaster Rovers, we are guessing that it may well be a Development XI or youth side that is sent by Rovers for this fixture.
Games confirmed so far for the Rovers pre-season campaign are:
Tuesday, 11th July - Armthorpe Welfare (away) kick-off 7.30pm
Saturday, 15th July - Tadcaster Albion (away), kick-off 3pm
Tuesday, 18th July - Derby County (home) , kick-off 7.45pm
Saturday, 22nd July - Guiseley AFC (away), kick-off 3pm
Monday, 31st July - Gainsborough Trinity (away), kick-off 7.45pm
June 5, 2017
Fergie - Marquis is one of my best signings
Darren Ferguson has rightly gained a reputation of spotting talent from relative obscurity and turning them into great successes, with his time at Peterborough United leading him to make large profits when those players were eventually sold on.
And he rates striker John Marquis as one of the best, with several clubs reported to be interested in gaining his services, even though the Londoner has another year left on his Rovers contract.
With the player keen to stay, recognising the way that Ferguson has progressed his career, there is great optimism for next season, with the club and player reported to be close to agreeing a contract extension.
Ferguson commented to the Doncaster Free Press: "Yes, he is [one of my best ever signings]. He’s a good character. Every day in training he’s at it. He can be a pain in the a*** but he’s a good lad, I like him. He’s at it. I like him because he challenges you and you need to be switched on and you need to be prepared. He wants it done right. He’s been perfect for what we needed, not just out on the pitch but the way he leads by example on the training ground and the way he is in the dressing room.
"You buy players, bring them into the club and you might get a bit of praise off people saying ‘that’s a good signing’ but it’s up to the players to buy into what you do. That’s my job, to get the players to do that. And I think they have done, the players that we’ve signed have all done that. Matty Blair, he’s another one, he’s been absolutely outstanding and I was bit surprised he wasn’t in the team of the year."
Clubs linked with a move for Marquis include Norwich City, Ipswich Town, Blackburn Rovers, Bristol City, Barnsley and Sheffield United.
June 5, 2017
Club report record junior sales
Doncaster Rovers are reporting that they have seen "record sales" of junior season tickets (sorry, that should read 'memberships'!), with sales increasing by 316% compared to last year.
The "Club Doncaster Foundation Family Stand" is now 86% full.
Marketing manager Mark Hughesman said "We have made a commitment to make football affordable for our younger supporters and the commitment they have shown back to us by purchasing their membership next season, is beyond our wildest expectations. We have a real commitment to family excellence at Doncaster Rovers, with a particular focus on our family area in the East Stand. The plans we have in place for improvements in the family stand next season are exciting, Donny Dog and I are looking forward to seeing the faces of young fans when they see the additions we are planning."
June 5, 2017
Bennett signs new deal at Pompey
Former Doncaster Rovers winger has agreed a new three year contract with League Two champions Portsmouth after playing a key role in their promotion campaign, scoring 5 six goals in 44 games last season.
Bennett told the club's official website: "My intention has always been to stay at this club and sign a new deal. Having been here for two years now, I feel really settled and comfortable living in the area. It was a good time to get this sorted for me and my family. I think that the fans saw more of the real me this season and now I want to kick on as we head into League One. We all knew that promotion was the ultimate - and only - aim. But having played in three different divisions, I can tell you without doubt that the fourth tier is the hardest one to get out of. There is a lot more physicality needed, while League One is far more suited to our squad and the way that the gaffer likes us to play."
June 5, 2017
A new DROS
Doncaster Rovers have launched a new design of the official club web site after signing up with a new web site provider.
Rovers' media manager Luke Thornhill said: "Fans will see an immediate change in design, but the most fundamental changes will be behind the scenes as we have a much more streamlined system to use. The sites have been designed to work better on smartphones and tablets, which we know are used to access the current site more than desktop computers. I want to be clear with supporters that when we go live at the end of the month the site will still be a work in progress, and over the summer we will look add more to it. We will welcome any feedback and suggestions via media@clubdoncaster.co.uk.
The new version of DROS went live on 30th May.
June 2, 2017
Three more pre-season games confirmed
In addition to the home pre-season game against Derby County on July 18th, Doncaster Rovers now have three more games in their diaries, all away against non-league opposition.
As in recent years, they open their pre-season set of matches by playing local opposition - this time it's Armthorpe Welfare, with that game down for Tuesday, 11th July (kick-off 7.30pm)
That is followed by a trip to Tadcaster Albion four days later (Saturday, 15th July, kick-off 3pm).
The most recent game to be announced follows on Saturday 22nd July, when they travel to play Guiseley AFC, which again will have a 3pm start, with Guiseley managed by ex-Rovers defender Adam Lockwood and assisted by Dave Penney.
In summary, that gives the full list announced so far as being:
Tuesday, 11th July - Armthorpe Welfare (away) kick-off 7.30pm
Saturday, 15th July - Tadcaster Albion (away), kick-off 3pm
Tuesday, 18th July - Derby County (home) , kick-off 7.45pm
Saturday, 22nd July - Guiseley AFC (away), kick-off 3pm
No admission prices have yet been decided for any of these games.
June 2, 2017
"Tough decision" to put Williams on list
The decision to put Andy Williams on the transfer list was the most difficult one of the summer for boss Darren Ferguson as he starts to reshape his squad ready for life in League One.
Williams was one of five players to be listed by Rovers this summer, and his twelve goals in an injury-ravaged season was not enough to earn him a new deal.
There has already been interest shown in Andy, so it should not be too long before he moves on.
Speaking to the Doncaster Star, Fergie said: "It was the most difficult one because his goal scoring record is good. I had a good chat with Andy and he understands the reasons for it. I just feel we need a bit of improvement, certainly in that area. We need to keep getting better and it’s important we do that."
"That was a tough decision and we’ll see how that one goes. I’ve got to balance the books which comes into it slightly but this was definitely a footballing decision."
A transfer fee may not be demanded by Rovers for Williams, with Ferguson adding: "With Andy, he’s on a big salary so it might be just about letting him go. Then there’s his age as well. We’re certainly not going to be standing in people’s way and demanding the world for them. It’s done now and it finishes off the season."
June 2, 2017
Whitehouse to leave Leeds
Ex-Rovers midfielder Billy Whitehouse is to leave Leeds United this summer after only joining the club from Doncaster Rovers last August.
The 20 year old only made one senior appearance for Leeds last season - he was in the starting XI for the infamous defeat in the FA Cup at the hands of Sutton United.
Whitehouse was a regular in the Leeds Development side, making 20 appearances for them, and also had a short loan spell at non-league Guiseley.
He released the news on Twitter and thanked all at Elland Road for their support during the last twelve months.
June 2, 2017
Checkatrade Trophy stays in same format
The controversial change in format of the Checkatrade Trophy, the updated equivalent of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, will be retained for the forthcoming season.
The decision has been confirmed after representatives of all clubs in League One and League Two were asked whether to retain the format, revert to the previous 48 team knock-out competition, or abandon the tournament altogether.
Two thirds of the clubs voted for the status quo, although there are a few 'format changes', for example the games can be scheduled away from the "international breaks", which was putting off many Premier League clubs entering sides.
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson has been an enthusiastic supporter of the Trophy, and commented: "The Checkatrade Trophy was a roaring success for Doncaster Rovers as far as I am concerned. It gave me the chance to play and look at the younger players in the squad and see how they coped with better opposition. The players enjoyed the group stages of the tournament and we were disappointed to go out of it on penalties in the second round. I think the format was good and I am happy to see the same format for next season."
June 2, 2017
Heyrettin leaves Braintree
Braintree Town have announced that they have parted company with manager Hakan Heyrettin "by mutual consent" following the club's relegation from the National League at the end of last season.
The 47 year old joined the club in September with the club in the relegation places, with just two wins from their opening 12 games. A record of winning 15 of the 41 games since then was not quite enough to save Braintree from the drop, with relegation only coming on the final day of the season, when they were defeated by Aldershot.
Braintree chairman Lee Harding said: "If we had appointed Hakan back in the summer and given him that blank sheet of paper, I am sure we would not have struggled as we have. He's given us everything and came so close the securing our status."
Heyrettin responded by adding: "We're all disappointed how it finished up, but I'd like to thank everyone that helped me and I wish you all the very best for the future."
June 2, 2017
Rovers give eight scholarships
Doncaster Rovers have announced that they have given eight academy players scholarships for next season.
Academy manager Kieran Scarff has revealed that Cameron Barnet, Rieves Boocock, Myron Gibbons, Cameron Baldock-Smith, Cameron Foules, Anthony Greaves, Brandon Horton and Declan Ogley have been offered scholarships, with the club hoping to returning to the Development League for next season, which will give the youngsters an opportunity to test themselves against their equivalents from other clubs in the Football League.
Scarff told DROS: "We are really pleased with the level of potential these individuals have shown over the past few months. They have a real opportunity to develop at a football club that provides a genuine pathway towards the first team. We are looking forward to working with all these players and looking to fulfil their potential."
"The opportunity to play regular and competitive fixtures will only support the development of our younger players. I firmly believe this additional stage in their development will increase their chances of establishing themselves as future first team regulars."
June 1, 2017
Three sign up for more
Doncaster Rovers have announced that three players have agreed to stay with the club after signing new deals earlier last month.
Young striker Liam Mandeville has been handed an improved contract that sees him remaining with the club until the summer of 2019, while winger Matty Blair has also agreed an extension to his contract following a great first season at the club.
In addition, goalkeeper Marko Marosi has signed a new two year contract, with his existing deal with Rovers due to run out this summer.
June 1, 2017
Two former Rovers among mass clear out at Bury
Two former Doncaster Rovers players are set for pastures new as Bury manager Lee Clark has decided on a mass clear out, with eleven players not having their contracts renewed upon their expiry this summer.
Defender Reece Brown and striker Chris Brown are now looking for new clubs after relatively short stays at Gigg Lane, with Reece Brown only joining from Barnsley in January 2017, while Chris Brown moved to the Shakers in August 2016.
Notably, boss Lee Clark has also taken the opportunity to allow goalkeeping coach Ian Willock, physio Paul Morgan and chief scout Dave Bayliss to leave the club as he strives to find an upturn in Bury's fortunes. They finished just one point above the relegation places last season.
June 1, 2017
Burge leaves Eastleigh
Former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Ryan Burge is one of seven players to be released by National League club Eastleigh this summer.
Burge was on a short term deal after joining in March. He had been a free agent after being released by Sutton United in December 2016.
June 1, 2017
Ferguson sure Marquis will sign new deal
Rovers boss Darren Ferguson is convinced that top scorer John Marquis will eventually sign a new contract, despite negotiations going on for longer than anticipated.
Marquis has a year to go on his contract, but Rovers are keen to extend the deal, especially with other clubs reported to be interested in signing the Londoner.
Ferguson told the Doncaster Star: "We’re really close with it. Negotiations have been going on. He’s had a great season, loved it. He really wants to stay. You’re always going to get a bit of interest in him. But it’s not an issue, we’ll get it done. It’s just a case of going through a couple more things with John. His was always going to take a bit longer but I’m 100 per cent confident we’ll get John done, no problem."
Marquis has already gone on record as being keen to stay, saying; "As far as I am concerned, I have a year left on my contract and hopefully they might want to sit down and sort a new one out, which would be nice. There is no reason I would be wanting to go anywhere else. My football has come on so much and I cannot speak highly enough of the manager and staff. I would probably go as far as to say that I have learned more in one year of football since Kenny Jackett left Millwall, which was maybe four years ago."