It’s a loo role for Rovers manager Saunders . . .
I’VE heard of many strange activities taking place in toilets over the years . . . but never a Press conference.
Yet that is what happened at Doncaster Rovers’ Cantley Park training ground last Thursday.
With it being wet and windy outdoors, and the dining/rest area inside the main building busy with players, it was decided by someone, don’t ask who, to hold manager Dean Saunders’ press briefing in the toilets.
It was like something out of a situation comedy and none of us could keep a straight face as water spurted down the urinals at regular intervals - something picked up by the recording equipment used by the club and Radio Sheffield, whose reporter Rob Staton didn’t always see the funny side of the situation.
It was a case of one-in, one-out for Doncaster Rovers on the last day of the transfer window until January, on Friday.
Quite why clubs leave it until the last minute to strengthen their squads I will never know. To be fair to Rovers, Saunders had been trying to bring in out-of-favour Preston striker Iain Hume for some time, but the situation surrounding James Coppinger’s departure was quite bizarre.
Copps had trained with the rest of the squad and was expected to play some part in Saturday’s game at Yeovil. He boarded the team coach heading for the club’s overnight hotel at Taunton but had got off en-route after learning of Forest’s approach.
I had a feeling that Copps might go and although he has only joined Forest on loan until January, if he does well in his time at the City Ground it is inconceivable that he’ll be allowed to leave.
The pre-match talk among the South Yorkshire-based reporters who had made the five-hour plus journey to Yeovil’s Huish Park on Saturday, included the likelihood of former Doncaster striker James Hayter scoring the winning goal against his former club.
Hayter didn’t get the winner goal but he did break the deadlock early in the second half and it looked like being the winner until the last 10 minutes or so when Ugwu,the man who replaced him, made it 2-0.
The game saw Hume make his debut for the club when coming off the bench midway through the second half. Although clearly not fit, he showed a couple of decent touches and helped set up a last-minute consolation goal for striker Billy Paynter, who had hardly had a look-in.
It was Paynter’s first goal for the club and will hopefully be the first of many.
It wasn’t the best of trips from Yeovil to Wood Green on Sunday to cover the London Skolars-Dons game, which Tony Miller’s side needed to win to claim the Championship One title.
It wasn’t helped by my satnav packing in on several occasions in the middle of London when I hadn’t a clue where I was.
Any concerns that the Dons might freeze on the day were quickly dispelled and the result was never in doubt. There were joyous scenes at the final whistle but my abiding memory of the day will be writing my back page report in my car on the pavement facing a race against time to finish it before my phone, which we use to send copy from laptops, ran out of power.
I found the press box closed after returning from my post-match interviews, and was directed to another room which closed before I was done.
I was even advised to move from the car park to avoid getting locked in!
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Weather for South Yorkshire
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 6 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West