DONCASTER Rovers will feature in the first competitive match at promoted Brighton’s new multi-million-pound American Express Community Stadium.
Sean O’Driscoll’s men visit last season’s League One champions on the opening day of the new Championship season on August 6. It will be a daunting start against a side who won the title in style last May with an eye-pleasing brand of football.
Rovers, who take on Tranmere Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium in midweek, couldn’t have had any more attractive opposition in their first home league game than relegated West Ham United.
It will be the Upton Park club’s first ever visit to the Keepmoat Stadium, though new boss Sam Allardyce was in charge when Bolton handed Rovers a 4-0 FA Cup drubbing shortly after they had moved to the new £32 million stadium in 2007.
Rovers face Nottingham Forest, now managed by former England boss Steve McClaren, at home the following Tuesday. They hit the road again when travelling to Derby’s Pride Park, where they have a good record. Rovers complete a busy opening month with a home game against Bristol City.
They face back-to-back away games at Cardiff and Reading following the first of the international breaks. Hull City check in at the Keepmoat Stadium on September 27. Leeds United’s visit on October 15 should attract a capacity crowd.
Rovers will be hoping to produce some fireworks when they take on Ipswich, who failed in a £2.6m bid to land striker Billy Sharp and James Coppinger, last month, on Bonfire Night at Portman Road.
Sean O’Driscoll’s side make the short trip to Oakwell a fortnight later. They visit Burnley on Boxing Day and take on Watford at Vicarage Road on New Year’s Eve.
Rovers play host to Barnsley on January 2 and travel to Elland Road in February.
Eric Randerson, the club’s Community Sports and Education Foundation chief executive has beaten off opposition from all over the world to win the prestigious Stadium Business Unsung Hero Award.