Eyes down and look in, a much busier seven days for Paul Raven to recap in his Newsround this week, including familiar new owners, fixture fun, Belles back in action, non-transfer rumours, and a not-quite international.
Forum For the Future Sees Bramhall and Watson Back, But Not On Board
Rovers, in conjunction with the Viking Supporters’ Co-operative, held a Forum for the Future event at the Keepmoat Stadium on Monday. The popularity of the event meant that it had to be split into two sessions which unfortunately limited the ‘forum’ aspect of the event, but there were at least key announcements, most notably the confirmation that Dick Watson and Terry Bramhall are back involved in the club, not on the board, but as co-owners of the club with John Ryan. The Forum also saw some very positive announcements from new Chief Executive Gavin Baldwin which shows that on a commercial footing at least the club are keen to engage and embrace the feedback of supporters. The club’s new home kit was also unveiled at the forum, and can be viewed here.
2012-13 Fixtures Released
The 2012-13 Football League fixtures were released at the start of this week with few surprises; ie. Rovers will be away on opening day, Boxing Day and the final day of the season, travelling to Walsall, Oldham and Notts County respectively. The first home game of the season is a midweek match with Bury on 21st August, whilst the first home Saturday league game brings a reunion with Sean O’Driscoll as Crawley Town come to the Keepmoat on Saturday 24th August. Also there was some indication that the Football League have a sense of humour in the way of Rovers’ back to back away games with Portsmouth and Carlisle in November.
League Cup Date Moved
As mentioned in last week’s Newsround clubs had been given the opportunity to move their 1st round League Cup ties to the preceding weekend if both parties were in agreement. Happily, both Rovers and their opponents York City have agreed to such a switch and so the 1st round Capital One Cup tie with the Minstermen will now be played at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday 11th August. It’ll be the first time the two sides have met competitively since Rovers relegated York to the Conference in 2004.
Football On Your Doorstep: Belles host Liverpool
A big day for the Doncaster Rovers Belles at the Keepmoat Stadium tomorrow as they finally get to play their first home league game of the FA Women’s Super League season. After the postponement of their games with Arsenal and Everton in April the Belles have had to wait until the season was more than two months hold before tis home ‘opener’ against Liverpool. The Belles will be hoping to continue with the form that saw them register a 2-1 victory at Lincoln in their last FAWSL fixture. The match is a 2pm kick-off at the Keepmoat Stadium, tickets are £6 for adults, £3 for children.
Rovers Miss Out on Trio
Reports in various credible media outlets, and S*y Sp**ts, this week suggest that Rovers have missed out on three potential transfer targets. Rovers are reported to have bid for Stevenage defensive duo Jon Ashton and Mark Roberts, though perhaps understandably, having reached the League One play-offs last season the club are unwilling to part with their central defensive partnership. Also on Rovers radar was former Huddersfield winger Gary Roberts. Dean Saunders had reportedly been close to agreeing terms with Roberts, but he has now chosen to join Swindon instead, with the Robins able to offer much better terms (ie. more money).
Tigers Added to Pre-season Friendly Schedule
Rovers have this week confirmed an eighth pre-season friendly fixture with the news that Hull City will come to the Keepmoat Stadium on Tuesday 31st July. The match is scheduled as a 7:30pm kick-off; a full list of Rovers’ pre-season games can be viewed below.
|Sat 14 July||Cleethorpes Town||Bradley Road||3:00pm|
|Tue 17 July||Grimsby Town||Blundell Park||7:30pm|
|Sat 21 July||Bradford Park Avenue||Horsfall Stadium||3:00pm|
|Tue 24 July||Rotherham United||New York Stadium||7:45pm|
|Sat 28 July||Sheffield Wednesday||Keepmoat Stadium||3:00pm|
|Tue 31 July||Hull City||Keepmoat Stadium||7:30pm|
|Sat 4 Aug||Barnsley||Keepmoat Stadium||3:00pm|
|Tue 7 Aug||Gainsborough Trinity||Northolme||7:45pm|
Dumbuya Misses Out on International Debut
Fanzine favourite Mustapha Dumbuya is unfortunately still awaiting his first cap for Sierra Leone after sitting out the Leone Stars 4-2 win over Sao Tome & Principe as an unused substitute. Dumbuya, handed the number 11 shirt, had to watch on from the bench in Freetown as his side came from a goal down to secure a 5-4 aggregate victory in the African Cup of Nations 1st round tie.
The Mullen & Ball Show
Sadly not the launch of a new music hall comedy act (though there’s time yet), but good news at least as youth team players Paddy Mullen and Jordan Ball have this week signed pro contracts with the club. Both Doncaster-born Mullen and striker Ball were part of the Rovers youth side which triumphed in the Football League Alliance Trophy at Exeter last month.
Ex-Rovers Move On
Two big moves for ex-Rovers on Thursday this week, most notably as Paul Green decided to test Rovers’ fans attachment to him by joining Leeds United. Green, who has been in action for Ireland at the Euro 2012 Championships this past fortnight, was effectively a free agent, with his contract at Derby County up at the end of the month. Green has signed a two-year deal at Elland Road, with Neil Warnock taking a brief time-out from a tirade about match officials to say; “I’ve always thought [Green] was the kind of player who can create goals as well as score them. I’ve seen him grow since his days at Doncaster, I’m delighted to get him.” As hinted in the title Paul Green wasn’t the only Rover to be moving on to pastures new this week, nope the big news came further down the pyramid as celebrated Scandinavian spot-kick stopper Jan Budtz signed for Buxton.
R’sonists Sunk by Mariners
Supporters side Donny R’sonists travelled to the Far East last weekend, as they went to play their counterparts from Grimsby Town, the Internet Mariners. In far from summery conditions the bare XI of the R’sonists were eventually beaten 4-3 by their hosts, but can take solace from scoring the game’s three best goals, with three quality strikes from Alan Cullingworth, Matt Harriman and Harry Swain. Former fanzine correspondent Karl Smith also had a memorable afternoon, as he unfortunately turned Grimsby’s 3rd and 4th goals into his own net. The Mariners have reportedly made enquiries about Smith’s availability in the week after the game.