Derby treble for Rovers

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DONCASTER Rovers have lined up THREE local derbies as their pre-season preparations gather pace, writes Paul Goodwin.

Dean Saunders’ side will make the short journey to Rotherham United’s newly built New York Stadium on Tuesday, July 24 (7.45pm).

They will host Barnsley at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday, August 4 (3pm), according to the Tykes’ official club website.

While the Free Press understands Rovers have also agreed to host Sheffield Wednesday with a provisional date pencilled in for Wednesday, August 8.

The meeting with Wednesday was verbally agreed before the end of the season and is set to be confirmed following the Owls’ promotion to the Championship.

Three local derbies are likely to add an intensity to Doncaster’s preparations for their return to League One.

Saunders wants to recruit players up for the battle - and he will get an early indication of those qualities during a pre-season schedule with a local flavour.

The new League One campaign will start on August 18 this year.

That means Doncaster will begin the 2012/13 campaign with a midweek fixture in the Carling Cup first round.

Saunders, meanwhile, continues to play a waiting game in the transfer market.

He will seek authorisation from the board this week to offer a deal to out of contract Altrincham striker Damian Reeves.

The Free Press has also learned that Saunders is speaking to former Reading and Sheffield United midfielder James Harper about a possible move to the Keepmoat Stadium.