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Season preview: Doncaster Rovers

Season preview: Doncaster Rovers
© PA Photos
Sports Mole casts its eye over the upcoming Championship campaign for newly-promoted Doncaster Rovers.

Just four days separate us from the beginning of the 2013-14 Championship season. Sports Mole has been assessing the season ahead for the teams in the English second tier, and below it's the turn of newly-promoted Doncaster Rovers.

In:

Mark Duffy (From Scunthorpe United, Undisclosed), Harry Forrester (From Brentford, Compensation), Marc De Val Fernandez (From Real Madrid, Free), Luke McCullough (From Manchester United, Free)

Out:

Jordan Ball (Released), Lee Fowler (Released), Patrick Mullen (Released), Gary Woods (Released), Martin Woods (Released)

Last Season: 1st, League One

Manager: Paul Dickov

Three key players:


Doncaster Rovers' Tommy Spurr at the end of the match against Notts County on April 20, 2013© Dave Howarth / PA Photos
Tommy Spurr - The 25-year-old is one of the first names on the teamsheet at left-back at the Keepmoat. He featured in every single league games last season as Donny earned promotion back to the Championship straight away. The former Sheffield Wednesday defender was said to be attracting the interest of a number of Championship clubs but those rumours have cooled in the last couple of months, and Spurr looks like he will be a Rover this season. A player they can't afford to lose, for sure.


James Coppinger© PA Photos
James Coppinger - Off the pitch, right-sided player Coppinger is not having the best of times. Earlier this year he was found guilty of fixing races and subsequently banned for three years from the sport. On the pitch, however, he is one of Doncaster's best assets and the club did especially well to keep him last summer after relegation. The 32-year-old winger scored the all-important goal that sent the club back up and more vital contributions should follow this term.


Doncaster Rovers striker Billy Paynter on October 9, 2012© PA Photos
Billy Paynter - The striker decided to step down to League One from Yorkshire neighbours Leeds United last summer and duly showed that he is a menace in front of goal by netting on 13 occasions to become the club's top scorer. This season Paynter will hope to at least emulate that total and Rovers will need him to surpass the 15-goal mark if they are to overachieve.

First game: Blackpool (H), Complete fixture list

Sports Mole says: Rovers made it back to the Championship at the first time of asking by winning League One on an incredible final day that ultimately saw Brentford lose out. The scenes at Griffin Park will live long in the memory as Donny stole a last-gasp winner straight after the Bees had missed a penalty that shot them up to first from third. Stealing promotion away from Brentford has meant that Donny have been able to prise Harry Forrester from the London side. The man behind the second half of the season at the Keepmoat, Bryan Flynn, has since stepped down, allowing Dickov to take the reigns. The former striker has never managed at this level but does have three seasons of experience managing Oldham Athletic, who he resigned from earlier this year. How Dickov copes and handles life in the Championship could be the difference between safety and another stint in League One for the Yorkshire side.

Predicted finish: 21st

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