Doncaster RLFC: Hall or nothing in play-offs - but Carl’s delighted with 2014

Carl Hall
Carl Hall

Chief executive Carl Hall says the Dons won’t be getting involved in a war of words with rivals Sheffield Eagles ahead of Sunday’s Championship play-off quarter-final at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Eagles have been one of the most outspoken critics of the RFL’s decision to reverse the club’s three-point deduction for fielding an ineligible player.

“As far as we are concerned the case is closed and we are comfortable with the decision,” said Hall.

Despite the squad being down to the bare bones due to a glut of injuries, Hall is confident that the Dons can move within 80 minutes of their first-ever Championship final.

But irrespective of the result, Hall says the 2014 campaign will go down as one of the best in the club’s history.

“We set ourselves a target to make the top eight so to finish fourth, and to be in with a chance of second spot going into the last game, was a remarkable achievement,” he said.

Hall claims that the club’s successful season has more than justified the decision – controversial at the time - to come under Doncaster Rovers’ umbrella late last year.

“As I said at the time, I felt that we had taken the club as far as we could and that we’d have a better chance of progressing as part of the Club Doncaster initiative.

“We are building ourselves a good reputation within the local business community and we’re attracting new sponsorship and I think the only way for the club is forward.

“With two Super League clubs coming down we know it’s going to be tough to make next season’s top four. I’m a realist and we won’t be making any rash predictions.

“What I will say is that with the players we have retained, and those we’ve signed, we’ll be stronger as a team.”

Reflecting on his own role within the new structure, Hall says: “They (the owners) are happy with what I’m doing and personally I’ve come on ten-fold under the guidance of Rovers’ chief executive Gavin Baldwin.

“I’ve learnt a lot about running a business and not just concentrating on the team.

“We have also benefited as a club from Rovers’ backroom and commercial staff, who have really bought into the Dons.”

Although gates have remained disappointing – something the club plans to address - Hall says attendances are up by “15-20 per cent”.

“If we can continue that trend that would be a good start,” said Hall.