Carl Hall column: Respect to the Dons family - together we’re stronger

Photo: Rob Terrace
Photo: Rob Terrace

Let me give you a little insight into the lives of our part-time players.

Last week we had a home game against Newcastle last Sunday, then a match against Oxford on Wednesday evening before we had the long journey down to play South Wales Ironman on Sunday.

After meeting in the Kiwi Cafe at the Keepmoat Stadium 8am for breakfast (thanks Karen and all the team), we arrived in Merthyr Tydfil some four-and-a-half hours later and it was so red hot you could see the heat rising up from their 3g pitch.

One of the reasons we brought Richard Horne to the club was we want to play an exciting and attacking brand of rugby. Well, in only his third game in charge, we recorded a record largest away league win for the club with a 70-12 success.

I hope this is only the start of Richard, his coaching staff and players breaking records for Doncaster RLFC. I must also give a mention to the players who were very professional in the way they went about their business looking after bodies. We arrived back at the Keepmoat just after 10pm and then the players had to make their way home, some live quite a distance away, and get up for work the next day.

People don’t realise the commitment part-time players give to play the sport: work all week Monday to Friday, spend Saturday with their families, and when we have long away trips some of them may not see their kids until Monday after work. I have total respect for these boys.

I would also like to thank our supporter liaison officer Barry Brown and his daughter Sharon as on Saturday I was in need of some help with one of our overseas players who had to take his wife to the hospital but needed someone to look after their two children. I was out of town so called Baz and explained the situation, without hesitation Sharon looked after the kids while Baz drove them to the hospital and stayed with them for hours. I cannot thank the Brown family enough, they go above and beyond for our club and always have done. I am truly grateful for all they do for us. People like the Brown family aren’t just supporters they are family, and together we are stronger. So thanks Baz and Sharon, I owe you one.

Whilst I am in the thank you mood I would like to thank those who travelled to south Wales to support the lads, I really enjoyed your company sitting with you lot watching the game again. The same faces who have been supporting us for years giving me grief when they feel the need but I can honestly say you are of part of the Dons family. See you all at Gloucester on Sunday before we hit these Super 8s.