Tommy Rowe believes Doncaster Rovers can shake off the ‘young squad’ tag in the coming season.
Rovers were seen as a side in development last term with the majority of the squad under 24.
But, with a year of League One experience under their belts, Rovers should know what to expect next term and be all the better for it, Rowe says.
“I think the label of young lads can, not so much go away because their age is still there, but they’ve been bedded in now,” Rowe told The Star.
“They’re experienced and they’re taking that responsibility.
“A lot of times I was asked last season about the importance of James Coppinger or Andy Butler or myself.
“I think next year the lads can start to take that responsibility.
“John Marquis certainly did that last season.
“We’ve lost a few experienced players who are going on to other clubs.
“But I think it’s a good season for plenty of the young lads to grab the bull by the horns and say: ‘This is my season.’ I think they’re more than capable of it.
“I don’t need to name any individuals because the majority of the squad can go on and do that this season.”
Several young players formed the bedrock of Rovers’ side last season, with 21-year-old Niall Mason making 50 appearances – the second most behind striker Marquis.
Ben Whiteman, 22, made 47 appearances while Joe Wright, 23, established himself as a key centre-half with 38 appearances - a record which would have been larger but for injury.