John Buckley: Ferguson shows his class with Rovers youngsters

Darren Ferguson
Darren Ferguson

I have heard a lot of good things about Darren Ferguson as a coach.

And over the last few weeks - in my capacity as coach of Rovers’ under-16s side - I’ve been lucky enough to see him at work on the training ground at first hand.

Ferguson recently gave up some of his time to come down and put on a session for the under 16s and under 15s, which I thought was brilliant of him. You certainly wouldn’t get that at every club.

And he really had the kids on their toes with his coaching style. He knows exactly what he wants and has very high standards - and he certainly wasn’t scared of letting the lads know if they weren’t meeting them.

Ferguson was forthright in his manner but always constructive and it was fantastic for the young ones to gain that experience of working with the first team manager - and someone who has such an excellent reputation in the game.

He and Gavin Strachan put on some really good drills and it was really appreciated by us, the coaches, as well as the kids.

I also got to see a bit of first team training the other week and some of the things they were working on, I could see them transmitted onto the pitch against Wycombe on Saturday - which is really good to see.

The result at the weekend was completely unjust in my opinion but Ferguson would have been happy with the performance, particularly in the first half.

It was great to hear this week that the Tomnmy Rowe injury isn’t as bad as first feared because he looked back to his best before coming off at half time.

His absence this weekend, though, is likely to present an opportunity to Alfie Beestin, Harry Middleton or Liam Mandeville.

Those three lads, and a few other fringe players, can expect some game time either in the FA Cup at Oldham on Saturday or against Port Vale in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night - and it’s a chance for them all to stake a claim. It’s a good opportunity for them because there’s no pressure at all on Doncaster in these next two games.

Charity bets: Oldham 1 Rovers 2, Rovers 2 Port Vale 0