Doncaster Rovers: Grant McCann updates on goalkeeper situation at the Keepmoat

Louis Jones will be handed the opportunity to battle with Ian Lawlor for a starting place for Doncaster Rovers next season with Grant McCann reconsidering his intention to add a goalkeeper to his squad.

By Liam Hoden
Thursday, 13 June, 2019, 14:41
Louis Jones.

Academy graduate Jones - who has yet to make his senior debut - had looked set to depart Rovers on loan to gain experience of first team football.

But the EFL look set to extend their requirement for 'homegrown' players in matchday squads from one to two according to McCann, who as a result has now dropped his hunt for a new keeper to a low priority.

"We have to be mindful of the fact there's a new rule that you have to have two homegrown players in your matchday squad," McCann said.

"We have to be mindful of that. Last year it was one, this year it could be two.

"That may hinder the fact of Louis Jones going out on loan which is not ideal.

"Ideally he'd go out on loan for the experience and we'd bring in someone to fight with Ian Lawlor.

"That is probably looking unlikely now."

The 'homegrown' regulation - known as Club Developed Players - currently requires clubs to name in matchday squads at least one player who has been registered for a minimum of 12 months prior to the end of their U19 season.

The potential extension of the rule presents a strong opportunity to 20-year-old Jones, who has been told in no uncertain terms by his boss that he will be expected to challenge Lawlor for the starting shirt.

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"I think Louis Jones has been outstanding. I'd have no issue putting him in if there was a problem with Ian Lawlor," McCann said.

"That's not to say Ian Lawlor is going to be our number one next season.

"He is going to have to fight with Louis Jones to get that starting shirt over pre-season. He knows that and Louis does too.

"It's important we get the balance right."

McCann had been looking to bring in another goalkeeper following the departure of Marko Marosi, who failed to agree a new contract.

But with the regulations in mind, he is keen to avoid seeing senior players miss out on matchday 18s.

"We have identified keepers to come in," McCann said.

"It's difficult because if we're going to have a squad of 18 first team players bumped up with four or five U23s, you'd be leaving a couple of first team players off the bench to have the homegrown players in."​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​