DONCASTER ROVERS: Dean Saunders to meet fans

Squad plans: Dean Saunders will meet fans on the eve of Rovers' return to training. picture: STEVE UTTLEY
Squad plans: Dean Saunders will meet fans on the eve of Rovers' return to training. picture: STEVE UTTLEY

DONCASTER Rovers’ manager Dean Saunders will attend the Supporters’ Club AGM at the Keepmoat Stadium’s Lakeside Bar on July 5.

Saunders, who has been away on holiday, wasn’t at last Monday’s Fans’ Forum where chairman John Ryan, fellow major shareholder Dick Watson and new chief executive Gavin Baldwin outlined their hopes for the season,

Saunders’ decision not to join in the traditional ‘lap of honour’ after the club’s last home game of the season, came in for some criticism at the meeting.

Ryan defended his actions by claiming that the former Welsh international did not feel that there was anything to celebrate following the club’s relegation,

Supporters’ Club chairman Len South, who will be seeking re-election at the meeting, admits that there is still a small faction of Rovers’ fans, who remain unhappy with the club’s decision to axe Sean O’Driscoll after only seven league games last season, yet to be won over by Saunders.

But he insists Saunders, who has been working hard behind the scenes since the end of last season in a bid to put together a team capable of mounting a League One promotion challenge, will receive a warm welcome from fans.

“There might be the odd critical question for him but I’m sure that Dean will be able to handle it,” said Mr South.

“I’m delighted that Dean has agreed to attend and I would like to see him do what Sean O’Driscoll did during the latter part of his time in charge, and that was to attend the forums on a regular basis.

“Sean won the respect of a lot of fans by turning up for meetings even when results hadn’t gone Rovers’ way and when no-one would have criticised him had he stayed away.

“I know Dean and John have agreed to attend meetings for season ticket holders next season. Bu I would also like him to attend the forums.”

Saunders, who has kept a very low media profile since the end of last season, is likely to update supporters on his plans on the eve of the squad reporting back for pre-season the following day as well as take questions from the floor.

“I know that Dean can’t bring players in until he moves some of the big-earning contracted players out but it has been unusually quiet this summer,” said Mr. South.

“I had hoped for some news on the playing situation at last Monday’s meeting and was a little disappointed that there wasn’t anything.”

Baldwin will be at the July 5 meeting and at the North Branch AGM at Carcroft WMC the night before.

Baldwin has impressed the fans according to Mr South: “He seems to have listened to what we’ve had to say in the recent survey and he seems to want to involve the fans more in future decisions.”