Doncaster RLFC: Thornton tips injury returnees to make big impact in 2016

Mike Kelly
Mike Kelly

Doncaster RLFC head coach Gary Thornton is tipping two players who struggled with injuries last season - full back Tom Carr and second rower Mike Kelly - to shine in 2016.

“Tom suffered a really bad knee injury in pre-season and needed a reconstruction,” said Thornton.

“But he managed to play a few games at the back end of the season when we were struggling for numbers - even though he wasn’t fully fit - and it’s always a bit unfair on players when that happens.

“But he’s flying in pre-season and I know what he can do having played under me at York so I’m expecting a really good 2016 from Tom.

“By his own admission Mike Kelly didn’t have the best of seasons but he was a bit unlucky with injuries.

“But he’s had his wrist and knee injuries sorted out so hopefully 2016 will be a big season for him.

“He’s a little bit behind in terms of pre-season training as a result but we are hoping that he’ll soon be back in the fold and showing how good he can be.”

Carr and Kelly are two of just eight players who remain from last season’s squad.

Thornton says that players, some of whom he would like to have kept, left for various reasons but says he is ‘delighted’ with the eight, which includes several young prospects such as Sam Doherty.

“I was delighted to re-sign Liam Welham and he was one of our major targets,” he said.

“He swept the board when it came to the awards last season and rightly so.

“He had a terrific season and it was important that we kept a player of his quality.”