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Match Previews

League 1 Preview: Doncaster Rovers

19 June 2015

Continuing our look at next season's opponents with Doncaster Rovers

We continue our preview of all the opponents we'll be facing in League 1 next season by taking a glimpse into Doncaster Rovers.

Who are this lot then?
Doncaster Rovers, a former Championship outfit who have previously risen from the Conference (2002-03) to the second tier before finding themselves in League 1. It's been quite a rise for the Yorkshire side.

Did they get up to much last season?
Donny finished in comfortable mid-table in League 1 last season, which would have been disappointing for the side, who had just been relegated from the Championship in the summer.

Who's the boss?
Paul Dickov (below) played for a host of teams during his playing days and made a name for himself as a manager at Oldham Athletic, as the Latics went on a memorable FA Cup run where they beat Liverpool 3-2 in the FA Cup back in early 2013. After leaving Oldham soon after, he took a few months out of the game before joining Donny. As a player, Dickov – a striker – represented the likes of Arsenal, Manchester City, Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers amongst others, and played ten times for Scotland.

Any stand out players?
Harry Forrester (below) came through the ranks at Aston Villa and has been a real bright spark for Doncaster since his move to the Keepmoat after leaving Brentford in 2013. Forrester is a former England under-16 and 17 international and is capable of scoring spectacular goals and registering assists. Long-serving James Coppinger has played at a higher level and the Donny vice captain has been with the club since 2004, appearing over 400 times.

Any links?
Jonson Clarke-Harris is someone who has spent time on loan at both the Blues and Doncaster during his career. Jonson failed to find the net for the Blues after joining on a temporary deal from Peterborough United in 2012 but he scored once in eight games for Donny on loan from Rotherham United last season. Others to have represented both include George Friend, Dave Cusack, Billy Paynter and Waide Fairhurst. Dave Penney is also a former Doncaster Rovers manager.

What's the ground like?
Fairly new and modern, the Keepmoat Stadium was built in 2006 and opened a year later. It is home to Doncaster Rovers, the Doncaster Belles ladies football team and Doncaster RLFC. The Keepmoat has a capacity of over 15,000 and Blues fans will be housed behind one of the goals for our trip to Yorkshire.

How far away is the place?
A journey to Doncaster is a 372-mile round trip for Blues fans leaving from Southend.

Any big name fans?
A member of One Direction, Louis Tomlinson is a big Doncaster supporter and has played at the Keepmoat for charity matches. Tomlinson was also part of a consortium that attempted to but the club last summer.

Good memories against them?
Southend United wins: 13
Draws: 5
Doncaster Rovers wins: 13

It's all square between the two sides when you compare the previous results. We first did battle back in the late 50s, and turned Rovers over winning 5-0! However, Doncaster have the best recent record, with the Blues having only won once in the last nine meetings, with Rovers winning seven of them.

What are the odds on that?
Doncaster Rovers are priced at 5/1 with Sky Bet to earn promotion from Sky Bet League 1 in 2015-16.

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