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Opposition Profile: Doncaster Rovers

6 June 2017

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A new feature where we take a closer look at who Rovers will face in League One next season.

Doncaster Rovers

Founded: 1879 
Nickname: Donny

Founded in 1879, Doncaster Rovers turned professional in 1885.

The South Yorkshire club have spent the majority of their playing history between the third and fourth tiers of the English football league system and are one of just four clubs to have won the League Two title three times (1965-66, 1968-69 and 2003-04).

Donny have twice been promoted into the Championship over the past decade, via the play-offs in 2007-08 and by being crowned League One champions in 2012-13.

The Manager: Darren Ferguson

The son of Sir Alex Ferguson, Darren was brought through the youth ranks at Manchester United by his dad, who handed him his first team debut in 1990.

The midfielder went on to make 30 appearances for United, before joining Wolves in 1994. Ferguson spent five years at Molineux, playing over 150 games and twice reaching the Division One play-offs, but without gaining promotion to the Premier League.

Following a short spell at Sparta Rotterdam in Holland, Ferguson joined Wrexham in 1999, where he would make over 300 appearances and captain the club to promotion into the Second Division in 2003 and success in the LDV Vans Trophy in 2005, scoring the second goal himself in a 2-0 victory over Southend in the Millennium Stadium final. 

In January 2007, Ferguson left Wrexham to become player-manager at Peterborough United, steering the League Two club to a top ten finish.

He then guided The Posh to back-to-back promotions into the Championship courtesy of successive second-place finishes in League Two and then League One.

Ferguson left Peterborough in November 2009 and was appointed manager of Preston North End two months later, but returned to London Road in January 2011.

After steering the side to a top four finish, Peterborough defeated MK Dons in the League One play-off semi-finals, before beating Huddersfield Town 3-0 in the Old Trafford final to seal an immediate return to the Championship.

Peterborough spent two seasons in the Championship, before being relegated back to League One in May 2013. Ferguson left London Road for a second time in February 2015 and was appointed manager of Doncaster Rovers in October 2015.

Despite suffering relegation from League One in his first season, Ferguson secured the fourth Football League promotion of his relatively short managerial career by guiding Donny to a third-place finish last term.

The Ground: Keepmoat Stadium

Located in South Yorkshire, the Keepmoat is a multi-purpose stadium, with a capacity of 15,231.

The first sporting event to take place at the stadium was a rugby league match between Doncaster and Sheffield Eagles in December 2006, whilst the first football match saw Donny beat Huddersfield Town 3-0 in January 2007.

It was officially opened in August 2007, with Doncaster Rovers taking on a Manchester United XI in front of a crowd of 13,080. United won the game 2-0.

It cost £20m to construct and is used by Doncaster Rovers, Doncaster Rugby League Club and Doncaster Rovers Belles Ladies Football Club.

Last Season: 3rd, League Two

Doncaster Rovers bounced back at the first attempt following their relegation into League Two in 2015-16.

Darren Ferguson’s side secured automatic promotion back into League One courtesy of a third-place finish behind Portsmouth and Plymouth.

Heading into Easter, Donny looked to have the League Two title in the bag, but a disastrous run-in, which saw them collect just one point from their final five fixtures, resulted in them slipping back into third place.

Donny suffered early exits from both cup competitions, losing 2-1 at home to Nottingham Forest in the first round of the EFL Cup and 2-1 away to Oldham Athletic in the first round of the FA Cup. 

Last Meeting: January 11th 2014

Rudy Gestede scored the only goal of the game, as Rovers defeated Doncaster Rovers 1-0 at Ewood Park in January 2014.

The towering targetman headed home the winner on the stroke of half-time from a Jordan Rhodes cross.

Rovers should have had the game wrapped up in the first half, as Tom Cairney twice fired wide when well placed, Rhodes nodded over and Ben Marshall was denied by a superb Ross Turnbull save.

The visitors almost snatched a share of the spoils at the death, but two excellent Paul Robinson saves ensured the points would remain in Lancashire.

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