Doncaster Rovers have signed Blackburn Rovers’ giant midfielder Herold Goulon on an emergency loan until January.
The 23-year-old, who can also play in several defensive positions, trained with the club yesterday before agreeing a deal in the afternoon.
“He’s a good player who has played at the top level and I’m glad to have him on board,” said Rovers manager Dean Saunders.
The Rovers boss, who has other irons in the fire ahead of Thursday’s loan deadline, has underlined the fact that he is looking long-term as well as short-term by handing 17-year-old youth team left-back James Husband a contract until the end of the 2013-14 season.
It is the longest contract handed out to a Rovers junior since the club returned to the Football League in the 2003-04 season and reflects both the high esteem in which Husband is held and the emphasis on which Saunders is placing on the club producing its own players.
“From what I’ve seen of him so far he’s shown a bit of promise and there will be more to follow. I want some of these boys to play in our team eventually,” said Saunders, who says that there are a ‘few others’ pushing for a full-time contract.
“We are organising friendlies at the moment but I want to try and get back in the Reserves League if I can.
“I know it’s difficult at this level but I want the young players to have a clear route to the first team.”
Saunders is also looking into the possibility of running a development team, though discussions are at an early stage.
“I’m a bit reluctant to release young players too early,” he said. “I got released at 18 or 19 and it was a mistake. I just wasn’t fully developed at the time.”
The club’s decision to sign Husband on a long-term deal has delighted head of youth Paul Wilson.
“James, who had been interesting several bigger clubs, is an exceptional talent,” said Wilson, who wasted no time in bringing him to the club on a YTS after being released by Leeds United 18 months ago.
“Dean’s come in and in the short time that he’s been here he’s seen that James is a capable player and has tied him up to the club.
“Dean is giving James the chance to show how good he is and he’s a good chance of making it. He’s good on the ball and he’s a good athlete in that he’s quick and has got a good engine. He’s good in the air and he’s got everything that’s required.”
He added: “It’s important to us and the lads that the manager is interested in the juniors.
“As well as watching the team play he’s taken the lads training a few times and he’s been down to the school of excellence and taken a couple of sessions there as well.
“I’m hoping that we sign three or four more from the group that we’ve got. We’ve got a good set-up at the moment.”
Wilson supports the idea of reforming the reserve team, scrapped by former boss Sean O’Driscoll for a variety of reasons, several years ago.
“If you’ve got a reserve side it gives the young lads a chance to develop,” he said.
An unused substitute at first-team level on a couple of occasions last season, Husband will continue to train and play with Wilson’s side for the immediate future and will be involved in the forthcoming FA Youth Cup third round tie away to Chelsea.
“I can’t wait for that one; it’s like playing the best of the best at my age,” said Husband, who doesn’t rule out Rovers causing an upset.
“There will probably be a bit more expectation when I play for the team having signed for the club, but all of the players are around the same level and there isn’t one second year YT who hasn’t got a chance.
“The fact that the club have given me a contract will act as a tremendous boost to the rest of the lads because it shows that the manager is ready to give us a chance.”
Husband has turned out in several positions for the youth team this season.
“I can play as a left-sided midfielder but prefer left-back. I like to get forward as much as I can and I’ve scored five goals this year and also had a few assists,” he said.
Like Wilson, he backs the idea of a reserve team to help bring youngsters through.
“I think the step from youth team to first-team football is too great,” he said.
Said former Rovers’ skipper and manager Ian Snodin, a partner in the Manchester-based CSG Sports Management Agency to which Husband is signed: “He’s not a Doncaster lad but he’s a Yorkshire lad and it’s a great opportunity for him. He’s a terrific player.”
Chimbonda out for a month
Rovers manager Dean Saunders has revealed that right-back Pascal Chimbonda would be sidelined for four weeks with the hip problem which ruled him out of Saturday’s derby at Barnsley.