Doncaster Rovers: Goalkeeper hunt is on

Stephen Bywater
Stephen Bywater

Paul Dickov says both he and Paul Gerrard have drawn up a list of goalkeepers for Rovers to pursue this summer.

And he revealed Stephen Bywater features on the list despite not being offered a new deal by the club.

Bywater signed a short term deal at the Keepmoat in January, taking him through until the end of the season.

He was not offered fresh terms at the end of the campaign but could still return to the club this summer according to boss Dickov.

“There’s still a chance he could be back with us,” the Rovers boss said. “I’ve spoken to him numerous times and so has Paul Gerrard (goalkeeping coach).

“Myself and Paul have a list of goalkeepers we’re prioritising and we’re speaking to them all.

“Stevie is one that is on that list.

“That doesn’t mean we’re going to sign Stevie but it also doesn’t mean that he won’t be here next season.”

Rovers had been linked with a move for keeper Richard O’Donnell following his departure from Walsall.

But the former Sheffield Wednesday shotstopper has agreed to join Wigan Athletic next month.

Former Rovers loanee Jed Steer made his Premier League debut for Aston Villa on Saturday. Steer spent three months of last season on loan with Rovers.

Rovers will host Premier League side Sunderland in pre-season.

The Black Cats will make their first ever trip to the Keepmoat Stadium on Wednesday, July 29.

After a season of struggle, Sunderland rallied under Dick Advocaat to survive the drop and finish in 16th position. Advocaat is poised to confirm whether he will stay on at the Stadium of Light.

Doncaster and Sunderland have met just three times in competitive fixtures.

It is likely to be one of several friendlies on home soil for Doncaster, with boss Paul Dickov desperate to improve Rovers’ fortunes on their own patch.

Middlesbrough have been lined up for James Coppinger’s testimonial game, while it is understood two Championship clubs have also pencilled in pre-season dates at the Keepmoat but are still to confirm.

Northern Counties East League Premier Division side Bridlington Town have announced a match against a Doncaster Rovers XI, scheduled for Wednesday, July 22, on their website.

Rovers will again head to Portugal for a pre-season training camp in mid-July. The focus is likely to be predominantly on fitness, with no games planned.