Doncaster Rovers: Stuckmann’s stature could be sign of things to come

l-r Thorsten Stuckmann, fan Lee Miller (who announced the signing on social media) and Paul Dickov.
l-r Thorsten Stuckmann, fan Lee Miller (who announced the signing on social media) and Paul Dickov.
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Paul Dickov perhaps gave an early indication of his summer rebuilding plans by landing giant German goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann yesterday.

The 34-year-old free agent - who stands 6’6” tall - became Doncaster’s first signing of the summer after turning down the chance to stay at Preston North End.

And by clearly ticking boxes marked ‘experienced’ and ‘physically imposing’, Stuckmann could set a precedent for the weeks ahead as Dickov bids to make his team more robust and physically imposing.

Stuckmann rejected a new deal at Preston after helping them reach the Championship via the League One play-offs.

Ironically, he lost his place in North End’s first team last season to former Doncaster loan star Sam Johnstone and with his first team opportunities likely to be limited at Deepdale, the chance of playing regularly at Doncaster is bound to have appealed to a player in the twilight stages of his career.

Stuckmann will face competition at Rovers from Slovakian under 21 international Marko Marosi.

Dickov has previously stated he would like to sign two senior goalkeepers but after landing Stuckmann his priorities will now switch to centre back, right back, centre midfield and centre forward.

Striker Tom Pope - another player whose assets include his physicality - slipped through the net earlier this week when he quit Port Vale to join League One new boys Bury.

Doncaster had been thought to have been quietly confident of signing the 29-year-old but comments made on social media by club officials appear to suggest that the demands of Pope’s agent prevented a deal being struck.