Doncaster Rovers: Trialists join Portugal tour

Cedric Evina has pace and is a good defender, says Rovers' manager.
Cedric Evina has pace and is a good defender, says Rovers' manager.

A number of trialists have made the trip to Portugal for Rovers’ pre-season camp - including goalkeepers Jamie Ashdown and Ben Williams.

The free agents were on show during Doncaster’s 2-0 pre-season friendly defeat at Lincoln City on Saturday as strikes from Jordan Burrow and Alan Power proved the difference at Sincil Bank.

Williams, an ex-Manchester United trainee, and former Leeds shot-stopper Ashdown played a half each following the exit of Rovers goalkeeper Jon Maxted this week.

And Paul Dickov said, prior to Sunday’s flight to Portugal, that he was still hopeful of sewing up a deal for number one ‘keeper Ross Turnbull.

“We’re in discussions with Ross and there’s been an offer made,” said the Scotsman.

The Rovers trialists were understood to have been joined for the trip by fellow free agents in striker Nathan Tyson, defender Cedric Evina - who Dickov signed at Oldham - midfielders Elliott Kebbie and James Bailey and centre-back Peter Clarke.

All played in Saturday’s friendly loss, but they will not know whether they can join Rovers because contracts will not be issued until the John Ryan-Louis Tomlinson Rovers takeover is completed - which is set for of July 18.

On the trialists, Dickov said: “Cedric [Evina] has got a fantastic pedigree, I had him for a short spell when he was 18 at Oldham and I know his capabilities.

“He’s very quick, he’s a good defender.

“Nathan [Tyson] is an experienced player, he’s got a lot of pace as well.

“We’ll have a look at them over the next week or so and then make our minds up after July 18.”

Dickov told The Star that their lacklustre performance against Lincoln would be dealt with during the team trip to Portugal.

Rovers will be training in intense heat and are set to play Championship outfit Huddersfield Town on Tuesday before returning to England this Friday.

“It’s pre-season, the boys have been back in 12 days, they want to win every game that they can,” Dickov said.

“We’ll have to sweep that one under the carpet [the Lincoln loss] and work on it in Portugal this week.

“The players knew they had 45 minutes work in each half, they’ve trained hard this week.

“Sometimes a performance like that is good because it helps me in my thinking going forward.”

He went on: “The players know what I want. Especially pre-season, you want to get the ball down, you want to play one-two touch football. You want to play with a bit of energy and it didn’t seem to be there [against Lincoln].

“We have worked them this week but tiredness isn’t an excuse for pre-season. You still have to go out and try to do the right things and there was not enough of that.”