Doncaster Rovers: Club to turn to youth after takeover collapse

Alex Peterson
Alex Peterson

Rovers are to turn to youth following the collapse of John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson’s takeover.

The club are tightening their belts ahead of their return to League One - a move which looks set to lead to the departure of experienced pair Richie Wellens and James Coppinger.

And the existing owners have indicated to Paul Dickov that he will need to put his faith in youth as the club bid to balance the books and stabilise following a second successive summer of takeover politics.

Terry Bramall and Dick Watson are also keen on getting more homegrown players through the club’s development system.

Rovers currently have just 11 contracted senior pros on their books with a little over a fortnight to go until their League One opener at Yeovil Town on August 9.

Youth team graduates Ben Askins, Lewis Ferguson, Billy Whitehouse and Mitchell Lund will almost certainly bolster those numbers.

The teenage quartet are expected to pen their first ever professional deals when Dickov gets the green light to sanction new contracts.

Fellow youngsters Alex Peterson, Liam Wakefield and Harry Middleton were also promised new deals at the end of last season - along with goalkeeper Jon Maxted who has since left the club.

Rovers’ youth team recently returned from the Gothia Cup - the world’s largest youth football tournament - having finished fifth in the Gothia Tipselit Trophy.

Along the way they beat Malmo and Besiktas, before losing to Red Star Belgrade in the 5/6th place play-off.

The shining light of Rovers’ youth system remains young full back James Husband.

His elevation to the first team in 2012 ended a long barren spell of homegrown players who had successfully made their way up through Rovers’ ranks.