Doncaster Rovers will look to improve on a fairly lacklustre season last time out. Manager Paul Dickov failed to add firepower during the transfer window, and paid the price with just 57 goals, much less compared to mid table rivals Gillingham and Barnsley. Influential South African captain Dean Furman left over the summer so will need to be replaced quickly with a motorized midfield that can get the ball rolling from the centre of the park. The addition of Richard Chaplow from championship side Millwall certainty adds an injection of stamina but may not provide the leadership that has been left by the departure of Furman.
Goals was a big problem from Donnie last term, seasoned striker Nathan Tyson was the only player to reach double figures last season despite being slightly troubled by a niggling injury. The former Derby and Forest man does not have the blistering pace that troubled Championship defences for so many years, but after 15 years in the professional game, he obviously has the knack for goals that have made him such a success at the majority of his clubs. 23-year-old Curtin Main was the other major contributor of goals during 2014/15 was 9 goals in 33 appearances in the league. The resolute forward only started 15 games for Rovers but with Theo Robinson saying goodbye, and currently looking to earn a deal while on trial with Portsmouth, a door will have opened for the South Shields born striker to claim a place in Paul Dickov’s starting XI.
After celebrating his 400th game for the club last season, Yorkshire born and bred midfielder James Coppinger, will again be influential for his boyhood club. ‘Copps’ as he is now known, has spent over 10 years with the club, racking up 46 goals and nearly 60 assists from an advanced midfield position that he has made his own. His unique creativity together with his keen eye for goal, make him a perilous task for any League One defence. The defensive shielding of fellow Doncaster Stalwart Richie Wellens, allows Coppinger the licence to stay forward without expending energy on defensive duties.
Andy Butler is likely to be partnered by veteran centre back Rob Jones at the heart of Donnie’s defence. Butler signed a permanent deal with the Yorkshire club in January after a disappointing 6 months in the Steel city. His aggressive nature together with Jones’ physique and aerial ability make them one of the stronger pairs in the league. Contrary to the season of Wakefield, former Manchester City full-back Reece Wabara played some scintillating stuff in his first long term club away from the Money filled Premier League Outfit. His attacking runs and lung bursting runs down the flank made him firm fans favourite with the Rovers faithful.
Paul Dickov now has three former Championship strikers to choose from upfront. Andy Williams, who arrived from Swindon Town after 22 goals last season, offers that fox in the box nature that is almost irriplacable at this level. Backed up by Harry Forester on the wing, and Coppinger through the middle, Dickov has a mountain of attacking options. Meaning is should be entertaining football and goals galore at the Keepboat this season. At the other end of the field, Rovers look much less steady. Even with 6 foot 7 giant Rob Jones commanding the backline I feel that Doncaster are too thin at the back. Liam Wakefield and Cedric Evina didn’t play regularly last campaign and both Jones and Butler lack pace. Even with the addition of German goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckman, i think Doncaster will ship heavily at the back, which could be the bursting point and lead to another mediocre season.