Dons chief Hall: We’re going up, but we won’t change

OVER THE LINE: Lee Waterman helps the Dons to their triumph over Workington.  Picture: Liz Mockler D2878LM
OVER THE LINE: Lee Waterman helps the Dons to their triumph over Workington. Picture: Liz Mockler D2878LM

CARL Hall has vowed that Doncaster RLFC will never return to their ‘boom or bust’ days while he remains in charge.

The Dons have been celebrating promotion to the Co-operative Championship this week after Rochdale’s defeat to Whitehaven on Sunday meant they cannot finish outside the top four.

It is a remarkable success story given that Doncaster were in administration before co-owner Hall saved the club from going bust just three years ago.

Hall has promised not to change his prudent financial approach as Doncaster begin to prepare for life at a higher level.

Hall said: “We currently only pay 17 players on pay-as-you-play terms every week.

“Whether that has to change in the future, I’m not so sure yet.

“But other clubs pay out a lot more money and end up getting in trouble - like Bradford Bulls.

“We won’t do that.

“If we want to sign a player and we cannot afford to give him what he wants then we’ll have to look at another player instead.

“That’s just the way we work here. We won’t break the club for anybody.”

Hall revealed this week that six members of Doncaster’s current squad have agreed to stay at the club next season - but stopped short of identifying which ones.

He said: “Next season the aim will be to stay away from the bottom two and ultimately we want Doncaster to become a stable Championship club.

“We know it’ll be a big step up but hopefully the players will get used to it and continue the kind of form they’ve shown this season.

“We’ll need to add a few players but we won’t change our wage structure.

“The biggest thing for us is that we have not had a high turnover of players in recent seasons - and half a dozen of the lads have committed themselves for next season.

“We’ll lose a few of them, that’s the nature of rugby league.

“But every one of them will always be welcome back here.

“They’re a great bunch of lads and they’ve done Doncaster proud.”

Last Thursday’s impressive 22-6 win against title rivals Workington effectively wrapped up promotion for Tony Miller’s side and set up a thrilling end to the season.

With four games to go, the Championship One title is firmly up for grabs.

The Dons travel to Whitehaven on Sunday (3pm) in second position in the table, just two points behind leaders Barrow, one better off than third placed Workington.

Miller said: “It’s another really big game for us this weekend.

“The title is out of our hands because we’re relying on Barrow slipping up.

“But Barrow have still got to go to Workington so we’re definitely in there with a shout.”

Doncaster were relegated from the Championship in 2009 and the club found themselves on the brink of folding - before Hall took charge of what many people thought was a sinking ship.

But Hall had other ideas.

Hall added: “It’s a case of job done. This is what we set out to do when we took over in 2009.

“I’m really proud of all the players and the coaching staff for getting us where we wanted to be.

“Now the hard work starts again.”