Doncaster Rovers eye new keeper

Goalkeeper: Gary Woods
Goalkeeper: Gary Woods
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DEAN Saunders, the Doncaster Rovers manager, has not ruled out signing a new goalkeeper despite confirming Gary Woods will start the first league match of the season at Walsall.

With Neil Sullivan nursing a thumb problem, Saunders options are limited between the sticks. The Rovers chief has just Woods and rookie shot-stopper Jonathan Maxted available for selection ahead of the trip to the Banks’s Stadium. Woods, who turns 22 in October, got the nod in the 1-1 draw with Football League newcomers York City last Saturday.

Rovers edged the clash 4-2 on penalities after extra-time to book a second round home tie with Hull City, which will be played the week commencing August 27.

It is no secret Saunders is a big admirer of Nicky Weaver, who has been deemed surplus to requirements by Sheffield Wednesday, with Owls chief Dave Jones choosing not to give him a squad number. The Star understands Rovers remain interested in recruiting the experienced player before the closure of the August transfer window.

“I am assessing the goalkeeping department,” stressed Saunders. “In fact, I am looking at all positions and if I can improve any of them I will as I want competition for places all over.

“We have got 17 players at the moment and we are going to get injuries and suspensions.

“We still won’t be able to fill the bench on Saturday so we are hoping to recruit a couple more players as we are short.”

He added: “Gary [Woods] is going to start the season so he has got the first bite of the cherry. He has got the shirt and if he plays well then he will stay in.”

Rovers have joined forces with Doncaster Rovers Belles for a unique double-header at the Keepmoat Stadium a week on Saturday. Rovers entertain Crawley Town at 3pm followed by Belles taking on Arsenal Ladies at 6pm.

Gavin Baldwin, Rovers chief executive, said: “This is something we feel will benefit ourselves and the Belles and provide excellent value for Doncaster residents.”

Tickets are priced at £20 adults and £5 children.