Doncaster RLFC: Club stalwart Ray Green backs Dons' Super League ambitions
There were more than a few eyebrows raised when Doncaster RLFC set themselves a target of bringing Super League rugby to the Keepmoat Stadium within five years prior to the start of the current campaign.
Not least because it would need two promotions to achieve what many people in the game will view as an unrealistic target within such a tight time frame.
But the Dons have shown before (1994-95) that they can upset the odds and make the top flight – albeit they only had to secure one promotion due to the fact that there was a two-division structure at the time.
There had been three divisions a couple of years earlier and the Tattersfield side were in the bottom tier, as they are now, so currently find themselves in a similar situation to the early 90s.
Having played an important role in the rise of the Dons, holding down a variety of roles such as director, chairman, general manager among many others, few people in the town are better qualified to comment on the prospect of the club reaching the top flight again than Ray Green.
Ray no longer has any official position with the club apart from his role of match day manager, yet still commands a great deal of respect within the Dons fan base and the local amateur scene.
“I believe that with the backing of Club Doncaster that we can get up to Super League,” he said this week.
“But we’ve got two get out of League One within the next two seasons because the gap is getting bigger between the divisions every year.”
Green recalled that the club had to invest money, originally intended to strengthen the squad following promotion, into their dated Tattersfield base to meet strict new criteria following the Bradford City disaster. He also says the playing budget was allowed to get out of control.
Both things played a key role in the club's struggles on and off the field.
“Fortunately, we’ve got one of the best stadiums in the game, not to mention excellent training facilities, so that wouldn’t be an issue,” said Green.
“The club also has a much more solid financial base than then thanks to the backing of the Club Doncaster board.
“I think that would enable us to be more competitive than last time and if we were I’m sure we’d attract the crowds.”