As regular readers of Viva Rovers will know, we are not ones for transfer rumours nor general tabloid column filling tattle. So instead of bore you with daily tales of who has not gone somewhere and who may or may not be about to move for a highly inflated amount of money we prefer to hold off spoon-feeding you morsels of estimation and just lump it all into one hearty meal of fact and substance. We may never get anywhere in football journalism this way, but at least it leave us to go about our day normally for the best part of a week. So here’s the second part of our weekly summation of transfer news.
We start with Rovers only cast-iron genuine signing of the past week, and that is the new contract offered to, and accepted by, young goalkeeper Gary Woods. The former Manchester United trainee signed a one year contract extension on Wednesday perhaps encouraged by the fact he is likely to edge up the goalkeeping pecking order following Ben Smith’s departure earlier this month. The new contracts agreed by Woods and Neil Sullivan before him may put paid to the recent rumours linking Rovers with Lincoln City goalkeeper Rob Burch. The Imps ‘keeper has been linked with both Rovers and Notts County having turned down a new deal at Sincil Bank earlier in the month.
On Thursday the Doncaster Free Press announced that John Oster was set to sign a new contract before the end of the week. However, the club’s official website has yet to confirm this, which suggests the Free Press may have been more than a little premature. Rovers however have missed out on the acquisition of one of their numbers from last season. Despite an impressive spell on loan at Rovers in February, which included that sensational goal at Hillsborough, Elliott Ward has this past week joined Norwich City in a permanent move from Coventry.
On the subject of missing out of former loanees, the main subject of discussion amongst Rovers fans of late has been whether or not the club will be able to secure the services of Billy Sharp again. Doncaster are reported to have had a club record bid for the striker turned down by Sheffield United last week, with £650,000 rumoured to be the amount bid, though John Ryan is said to have since dismissed this as unfounded. Sharp himself has made some very positive noises about his spell with the club in an article in the Yorkshire Post, most notably his repeated references to Rovers as ‘we’, and it seems that the player would be happy to play more football in Doncaster. Its how much Rovers are prepared to or able to pay which currently seems the only sticking point.
Of those recently released by the club two players have now been snapped up by other clubs, with a third likely to move soon it seems. Lewis Guy was the first to put pen to paper as he signed for MK Dons at the end of last week, and now Sean McDaid has been the second Rover to move on as he joined Carlisle United on Thursday. McDaid was a great servant to the Rovers and but for two significant knee injuries could have become a regular at Championship level. As it was he made just one fleeting substitute appearance for Doncaster last season, but the full-back will no doubt prove an excellent signing for the Cumbrian side as United manager Greg Abbott told his club’s official website “He is one we are all looking forward to working with”. Of the other four released players Paul Heffernan looks likely to be next to put pen to paper having been strongly linked with a move to Bristol Rovers, the side he spent a significant loan spell with in March.