Paul Goodwin: Why signing Tommy Rowe is a big deal for Doncaster Rovers

Tommy Rowe

Tommy Rowe

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Be honest.

Who really thought Doncaster Rovers could pull off the signing of Tommy Rowe?

Few people would have given relegated Rovers much hope of landing a midfielder clearly capable of holding his own at a much higher level.

But they have - and it’s a big deal for a number of reasons.

When Rovers released a “statement of intent” on Tuesday declaring that funds were immediately available for Darren Ferguson to start building a promotion-challenging squad, supporters could have been forgiven for thinking ‘we’ve heard it all before’.

Fans were told last summer that the Championship was the target, only for the club to inexpicably slip out of the other end of League One. Only last October they were then told that Paul Dickov was sacked because a promotion push was still the aim. Fans are fast getting fed up with empty promises.

Actions speak louder than words. And although a fan base that is quite rightly miffed with a third relegation in five seasons needed to hear positive words from the club, not least to clarify to the position of Ferguson, they needed positive actions much, much more.

In landing Rowe so promptly, Rovers have not just signed a quality player in his prime, someone Ferguson could potentially build a team around and possibly give the captain’s armband.

But they have delivered a genuine statement of intent to disillusioned fans that they really do mean business next season.

Not just that, but it also sends a clear signal to any other transfer targets that may be currently weighing up a move to the Keepmoat Stadium. You can guarantee that yesterday’s news will have made Gary McSheffrey’s ears prick up, for starters.

Ferguson quite clearly wants to make some big changes and signing Rowe is an excellent start. When was the last time Doncaster signed a player in May? Maybe, just maybe, things are starting to change at Rovers for the better.