Doncaster Rovers: Everton midfielder Conor Grant on why he decided to move from Premier League to League Two
He had to think long and hard about dropping from the Premier League to League Two, he says.
But not too hard.
Because Everton midfielder Conor Grant felt a ‘connection’ with Doncaster Rovers - and he’s delighted to be back.
The 21-year-old made an excellent impression on loan at the Keepmoat Stadium last season before an Achilles injury cut short his campaign.
Somewhat surprisingly, a season-long loan to Ipswich Town did not work out and the young Merseysider found himself back at Goodison Park in November. It wasn’t long before the call went in from Darren Ferguson.
“I had to think about it long and hard but the gaffer was really pushing to get me and that showed how much confidence he has in me,” said Grant, who is expected to continue in midfield at Barnet tomorrow.
“I loved working with him last time and now it’s even better because obviously we’re top of the league and the feeling among the players is obviously different to last season. It feels great to be back. It feels like normal service has been resumed.
“I’m delighted to be playing games and enjoying my football. I’ve been happy to get two ninety minutes under my belt. It’s something I haven’t done a lot of this season and I’ve been very frustrated by that. They’ll definitely stand me in good stead and help me kick on.”
So what specifically did Grant enjoy about his time at Rovers last term?
“I enjoyed working for the manager,” he said. “He really seems to get the best out of me and he understands me as a player and as a person.
“His level of detail for each session and how he gets his point across to the players, it’s very good. It’s something that I can learn from massively and I am doing all time.
“I like working with him and the backroom staff and Strachs [Gavin Strachan] and Gezza [Paul Gerrard].
“Overall I look back at the loan spell last season as a success. Obviously in terms of results in the end it wasn’t, and getting the injury was very frustrating. But the fans took to me really well and I just felt a good connection.”
After last season’s surprise relegation, Grant unquestionably feels like he has some unfinished business at Rovers.
He said: “We can all sit here and say Doncaster shouldn’t be in League Two, and we know they shouldn’t, but it’s happened.
“It’s just great the response that the lads and the manager have had, in terms of putting ourselves in this position now.
“The way my loan spell ended with injury and the way the results were, it wasn’t nice. When the team did get relegated I was as gutted as anyone, but this is a chance to put it right.”