Doncaster Rovers: Mark Wilson eyes coaching role

Blast from the past: Mark Wilson in coaching mode.
Blast from the past: Mark Wilson in coaching mode.

Mark Wilson hopes to remain at Doncaster Rovers in a coaching capacity next season.

The 34-year-old, who returned to Rovers on non-contract terms in March, wants to make the transition into management over the next few years.

Wilson relished life back at Doncaster, a place he describes as ‘home from home’, and despite not featuring on the pitch offered valued support behind the scenes during the club’s successful League One title assualt.

The former Manchester United and Middlesbrough midfielder is hoping to continue his development as a coach at Doncaster under the watchful eye of the club’s new manager.

“I think I’ve got a lot to offer as a coach and I hope to be a manager in years to come,” Wilson told the Star.

“I’ve still got to learn my trade but I’d like to think I’ve had some decent mentors in my time.

“It’ll be a transition period for me over the next couple of years into that role, and I’d love to do it at Doncaster.

“Doncaster is home from home for me.

“Obviously things didn’t work out for me with myself and Dean Saunders.

“I left and came back, and the way I was accepted back in by the lads it just felt so normal.

“It was great to come back into the club and play a part. I’ve loved it. Who knows where we go from here?

“I’ve kept out of the way of things when it comes to the new manager,” he added, on the ongoing manager search.

“Brian [Flynn], Rob [Jones] and David Williams did a fantastic job.

“The chairman will figure it out. He’ll know what he wants to do to take the club forward.”

Before his surprise return, Wilson made 140 appearances for Doncaster during a five-year spell that coincided with the club’s previous promotion to the Championship.

“It came out of the blue,” said Wilson on his return.

“I returned from China in January having failed to agree personal terms out there.

“I came back here to train and Rob [Jones] said ‘we need some cover, you know the squad, you know the club, come and be an influence.

“There was a fantastic atmosphere in the changing room.

“I’ve not been here when there’s not been that core group of lads, and even the lads on the periphery of the squad, who haven’t pulled their weight and really dug deep when they’ve needed to.

“What we achieved, going up as champions, is what comes from having a group of players that have ability and quality but also a camaraderie.

“Things have changed considerably from 12 months ago.

“In the six years that I’ve spent here, going away and coming back, the dynamics of the group and the way that everybody backs each other hasn’t changed.

“The personnel might be different but the grit and desire to win football matches is still the same.

“It’s been a fantastic group to part of.”

Rovers will submit their retained list to the Football League tonight.

Just seven first team players remain under contract for next season.

However, the Star understands several members of the current squad have been offered new terms.