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New To League Two: Doncaster Rovers

15 June 2016

We continue our study of the teams joining us in League Two next term and Doncaster Rovers are next under the spotlight.

Who’s in charge?
In Darren Ferguson, Doncaster Rover have a manager who knows what it takes to win promotion in the lower leagues and they’ll be hoping he works his magic again next term.

The son of legendary former Manchester United boss Sir Alex, Ferguson arrived at The Keepmoat Stadium in October but could not prevent the slide which saw Rovers finish fourth-bottom in League One.

During two successful stints as boss of Peterborough United, Ferguson has shown his quality by achieving promotion three-times and keeping the club in the Championship.

The 44-year-old spent time in the Preston North End hotseat in between his two spells at London Road and will be confident that he can turn around fortunes quickly at Doncaster this term.

As a player, Ferguson gained a reputation as a no-nonsense midfielder, starting out at Manchester United before moving on to spend five years at Wolverhampton Wanderers between 1994 and 1999.

However, it was with Wrexham where Ferguson really found a home and he played well over 300 games for the Welsh outfit before moving in to management.

Where do they play?
The Keepmoat Stadium has been home to Doncaster Rovers since 2006 and they signed a new 99-year lease with Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council.

With a capacity of 15,231, the Keepmoat Stadium cost around £20million to construct and also plays host to Doncaster Rovers Belles Ladies team as well as Doncaster’s Rugby League side.

Rovers had previously played their football at Belle Vue since back in 1922 but there is now very little left on the site after a demolition took place.

How did they get here?
It’s difficult to put your finger on why a season which began against the backdrop of overwhelming optimism went so badly wrong for Doncaster Rovers.

The South Yorkshire outfit were among the favourites for promotion to the Championship last summer but things started to unravel quite quickly and the dream turned into a nightmare.

Paul Dickov started 2015/16 in the Rovers dugout but he was sacked in September following a run of just one win in six, at which point current Pools defender Rob Jones was handed the reins on a temporary basis.

Darren Ferguson arrived to try and stop the rot shortly afterwards and the new-manager effect raised hopes in the short-term – but their form soon began to tail off again as trouble loomed.

Their relegation was all but sealed following a dismal 3-1 defeat bottom-placed Crewe Alexandra at the end of April and they were put out of their misery the following week when Fleetwood Town’s 2-0 win over Crewe ended any hopes of survival.

When did we last meet?
Pools and Doncaster Rovers last shared a division back in the 2012/13 campaign and it was the Yorkshire club who came out better from the two league meetings.

They came to The Vic in October 2012 and Neil Austin looked to have won the game for Pools with a 70th minute penalty but defender Rob Jones (yes, the same one!) popped up with a last minute leveller for the visitors.

It was less closely-contested when Pools made the return visit to The Keepmoat Stadium the following March as Rovers ran out comfortable 3-0 winners with Billy Paynter on target with the third for the hosts.

When do we play them?
The fixtures for the new League Two campaign will be released at 9am on Wednesday 22nd June.

Higgy’s View
“Darren is an experienced manager who knows these leagues very well so will know what he wants and how he wants to go about things in the new season.

“I would imagine that they will want to up there right at the top end of the table but they will find this a very competitive league and it will be interesting to see how they get on.

“It’s a good club to come up against and it’s not a million miles away either which is a bonus for us and our supporters.”

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