DONCASTER ROVERS: Local friendly again as Rovers stick with tradition

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DONCASTER Rovers are set to stick with the tradition, re-introduced by former manager Sean O’Driscoll, of kicking off their pre-season campaign against a local senior side,

The only difference to recent years is that the game, against as of yet an unnamed side, is expected to take place during the second week of pre-season training, with July 14 having been pencilled in - just four days before the visit to Grimsby Town.

During O’Driscoll’s time in charge, Rovers often kicked off their campaign just two days after reporting back for pre-season.

Rovers, who took on Northern Counties East League side Armthorpe Welfare - now managed by former fans’ favourite Leo Fortune-West - last year, have rotated the fixture between several clubs including Rossington, Retford and Askern Villa - the decision often being taken following a ground inspection.

Supporters’ Club chairman Len South welcomed the news: “The games are always well supported,” he said.

“I think there was over a thousand at Armthorpe last season, and the money raised on the night acts as a financial life-line to the amateur club.

“The game also gives fans an early chance to have a look at the new signings as in the past Rovers have fielded two mainly different teams in each half. It also gives local footballers the chance to show what they can do against a full-time team and it also gives the team the chance to show their local community what they are about,”

The club’s 2012-13 campaign will open with a midweek Carling Cup first round tie with their League One campaign kicking off on August 18,

The pitches at the club’s Cantley Park training ground have all been re-seeded but no developments to the complex are planned this summer due to financial restraints.

During O’Driscoll’s time at the club one major project was carried out at the training ground every summer with new toilets, a gym extension and improved medical facilities all having being carried out.

“There are always things you would want to do but it’s a lovely, friendly place to be and it works,” said director of football Mickey Walker.