DONCASTER Rovers’ midfielder David Syers is one footballer whose brains aren’t in his boots.
The university-educated Syers was offered a job by internationally-renowned firm PricewaterhouseCoopers prior to embarking on a career in professional football with Bradford City.
Syers was Rovers’ first summer signing.
It is probably fair to say, however, that the arrival of the former Bantams’ star at the Keepmoat Stadium didn’t exactly signal a stampede for season tickets.
Yet he has quickly become a fans’ favourite and is now seen as an astute signing by Rovers’ boss Dean Saunders.
Ironically, it was the lawyer representing chairman John Ryan in an FA hearing earlier this year, who recommended him to Rovers.
“It’s been a good move and everything has gone really well for me so far and I’m really confident that I can make the step up the way that I’ve been playing,” he told the Star.
“It helps training and playing with the quality players here and I’m confident that I can be a big asset for Doncaster.”
Syers missed Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat at Gainsborough Trinity, but played in all three warm-up games against Championship sides, including Saturday’s 2-2 draw against Barnsley.
“When you look at personnel in certain positions - I myself played out of position at right-back - to come away with a draw against a Championship side is a creditable result and just gives us more confidence,” he said ahead of tomorrow’s Capital One Cup game against York City.
“I’d played right-back a couple of times before, not too well, but I’ve managed to score every now again when I play there so it was nice to be on the scoresheet on Saturday. It was good to score my first goal at the Keepmoat Stadium and I’ll take a lot of confidence from that.
“I’ve always said that I’ll be looking to get on the end of things in the box - that’s where I tend to score most of my goals - so it was nice to get on the end of a cross from Cotts (David Cotterill).”
Despite a useful performance as a stand-in full-back, Syers has no ambitions to play there permanently
“My position is midfield but throughout the season there are always going to be times when people are going to need to play out of position so you have got to do what is needed by the team.
“I don’t mind running all day - I’m a box-to-box player - but when we are up against a quick winger someone like me is always going to struggle.
“I have to get stuck in and get in there early and try and cut them off a bit because if you let them run at you it can become a very long day.
“I think I did okay in the second half when Copps (James Coppinger) started cutting inside and creating space and when you know you have players like that who can find you from the middle of the pitch it gives you the confidence to get up the field.
“As I say, It’s not some where where I want to be playing but it is always some where I could play in an emergency - Kegs (Paul Keegan) has done well there the last couple of weeks.
“When I first came into semi-professional football with Ossett, that’s where I played for a couple of seasons. Obviously it is a lot different to playing at our level - but it’s something that I can do.”
With Rovers having signed Paul Quinn yesterday, Syers’ services will not be needed in defence in tomorrow’s game against City.”
“Obviously we’ll be looking to get off to a winning start,” he said.
“I think winning is a habit and the quicker you get used to it the better because it really helps especially in those tight games where one goal might win it. A good start to the season will help us and boost our confidence after we struggled last year and really help us to push on in the early part of the season.,
“But the game against York is going to be a tough one; there is no doubt about that. It is their first game since being promoted back to the Football League and they’ll be up for it.
“They are a good team and they had a great season last year so they’ll be full of confidence having got used to winning, so it is going to be a difficult task picking up the result we want to take into our first league game at Walsall on Saturday week.
“The first thing we’ll be looking for from that game will be a good performance and the result would be a bonus.
“Three points at Walsall would be a great way to start the league season as would be a good result tomorrow.”