DONCASTER Rovers report back for pre-season training today - just eight days before their first warm-up game.
“The training ground at Cantley Park looks in great condition and I can’t wait to get started,” said Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders before speaking at last night’s Supporters’ Club AGM at the Keepmoat Stadium.
Rovers, who have broken with recent tradition by going out of the area for their first pre-season game, take on Cleethorpes Town tomorrow week. Their next three games are also away before hosting Sheffield Wednesday, Hull City and Barnsley.
“I’m excited about our pre-season programme,” said Saunders. “We got a good mixture of games, a lot of which are local which is what I wanted for the supporters.”
Rovers were expecting just 15 senior players at today’s session - the 12 contracted players and their three summer signings, David Syers, Robbie Blake and David Cotterill.
“I’m not expecting any of the released players to turn up but even if they do they won’t be involved, not least because of insurance issues,” said Saunders.
The Rovers’ boss declined to rule out the possibility of at least one of the released players being at the club next season.
“I’m talking to Paul Keegan because he is the sort of player we need in midfield,” he said.
“I’ve offered him a deal but we are still talking because we’ve got to protect ourselves because he has missed most of last season with a knee injury.”
But he appeared to rule out the possibility of such as Simon Gillett and John Oster returning.
He said that Gillett had been made two offers that he was unable to match and that he couldn’t afford to pay Oster’ anywhere near what he was on last season.
Saunders admitted that he was was still in ‘limbo’ and remained ‘frustrated’ at his inability to bring in some of the players he has lined up.