Doncaster Rovers face 6,864-mile League Two road trip

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Thank heavens for Mansfield, Notts County and Grimsby!

This is not a statement typically uttered by supporters of Doncaster Rovers but it will be when the fixtures are released on Wednesday morning.

Relegation to League Two has condemned Rovers to many more hours on the road and the club’s supporters to spend plenty of money in petrol stations.

In fact, they will travel 2,428 miles more than they did in League One last season.

Round trips to away games next season will take Darren Ferguson’s side 6,864 miles – a 55 per cent increase on mileage from the previous campaign.

Rovers boss Ferguson admits the extra travel has changed things for his side but insists they will cope.

“Geographically it’s a very southern league whereas this year we had ten games that were derbies,” he said.

“Next season I think it’ll be only three games where we’re not going overnight, that are less than two and a half hours.

“It changes things. It might not seem it but there are a lot of different things in terms of planning.

“You might be at Exeter on a Tuesday night and Plymouth on a Saturday.

“But we have to cope with that.”

Five away days are over more than 400 miles with just six of the 23 return journeys under 200 miles.

So the 35 mile drives to Mansfield Town and Notts County will no doubt be welcomed.

Less appetising is the 592 mile round trip to Plymouth Argyle, one everyone concerned will be hoping does not fall on a Tuesday night.

In contrast, last season Rovers made no round trip greater than 400 miles with 15 away games taking place less than 100 miles away from the Keepmoat.

n A fixtures special supplement will be included in Thursday’s Star while fixture lists will be on the website on Wednesday morning.

n Rovers’ squad were due to report back today for fitness testing as the preparations for the new season begin in earnest.

The Star understands several players, including long serving skipper James Coppinger, have already been back at Cantley Park getting some fitness work under their belts.

Pre-season training will commence next Monday.