Patience is a virtue for optimistic Paul

Frickley Athletic v Doncaster Rovers 1st team (pre-season friendly). Frickley's Chris Wood against Rob Jones. (W573D328)

Frickley Athletic v Doncaster Rovers 1st team (pre-season friendly). Frickley's Chris Wood against Rob Jones. (W573D328)

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Star supporter Paul Mayfield has got a sense of deja-vu about Doncaster Rovers’ preparations for the new season.

With just 13 senior players under contract and time running out before Blackpool arrive at the Keepmoat Stadium, Mayfield is quick to compare this summer with last - when Dean Saunders was down to the bare bones before laying the foundations for a title winning season.

The chairman of the Retford Supporters’ Branch - and the Star’s Rovers fan columnist for the forthcoming season - admits there is sense of anxiety among supporters in relation to the current shortage of numbers.

But he insists he is still confident about the club’s impending return to the Championship, and says the right decisions must be made now for the good of the club in the long run.

“That’s Rovers for you,” he said.

“We’ve seen this all before, it reminds me of last season. And look what happened then!

“Two weeks ago we looked like everything was starting to fit into place.

“I think supporters were hoping to travel to Bradford on Saturday to watch the team that would be likely to face Blackpool next week.

“But it looks like the alleged investment talks, or possibly a stand-off with agents, has destabilised us slightly.

“I’m still confident about the season ahead,” he added.

“But I’d like to see the six out of contract players signed up before Blackpool at the very least.

“Obviously there’s a lot of talks going on behind the scenes and it’s important that the club does the right thing for its long term future.”

Senior contracted pros: Jones, McCombe, Husband, Syers, Cotterill, Coppinger, Furman, Fernandez, Harper, Duffy, Bennett, Brown, Paynter.

First year pros: Binns, Meade, Middleton, Peterson, Finnegan, Whincop. In negotiations: Maxted, Spurr, Quinn, Griffin, Wakefield, Keegan, Forrester.