'He is Doncaster Rovers' - Andy Butler on James Coppinger's contract situation, influence and appearance record

'He is Doncaster Rovers.'

Friday, 11th May 2018, 11:45 am
Updated Friday, 11th May 2018, 11:46 am
James Coppinger

Andy Butler has underlined James Coppinger’s value to the club.

And the club captain is eager to see the 37-year-old pen a new deal at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Coppinger, who has clocked up a record-breaking 574 appearances for Rovers, is currently in negotiations with the club about a new contract.

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The Free Press understands there was some truth in the speculation linking Oldham Athletic - managed by Coppinger’s former Rovers teammate Richie Wellens - with a summer swoop for the veteran.

But Coppinger is keen to see out his playing days at Doncaster, even though he may have to take a pay cut in order to do so.

He was named Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year at Rovers’ annual awards night on Saturday.

“Copps is an integral part of the team, not just on the field but off it,” said Butler.

“He is Doncaster Rovers.

“So hopefully we can get something sorted there.

“I know he’s keen.

“And he’s keen to carry on playing at the young age of 37!”

He added: “I don’t think his appearance record here will ever be beaten.

“That’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing to see a player stay here that long.

“Copps is a massive part of the squad and a massive part of the team.

“He does enjoy that free role he gets and I think it’s really worked for him this year and last year.

“So if it happens it’ll be very pleasing.

“Since I’ve been here he’s been incredible.”

Coppinger missed the last three games of the season with what boss Darren Ferguson described as “fatigue and muscle soreness”.

Ferguson told the local media last week that, whatever the size of his budget, the first thing he would do this summer is offer Coppinger a new deal.