Can Doncaster's loan stars play in League One play-offs? The rules on temporary transfers explained

With the regular season over for some of Doncaster's on-loan players, they are set to return to the Keepmoat Stadium - but what do the rules say about their play-off prospects?

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 14:47 pm
Who will Donny manager Grant McCann actually have available for selection against Charlton in the playoffs?

Who are out on loan?

Doncaster sent five players out on loan in search of regular game time.

Tyler Garratt to AFC Wimbledon - the left-back has featured 13 times in all competitions.

Another left-back, Danny Amos, was farmed out to Hartlepool where he's featured seven times in the National League.

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Former Manchester United youth-teamer Luke McCullough has played 36 times in League Two for loan club Tranmere Rovers but picked up a serious knee injury and is out for the season.

And Alex Kiwoyma has featured 13 times for Chesterfield whilst Liam Mandeville has turned out 46 times in League Two for Morecambe.

Yet although their seasons are over at their temporary sides none can feature for the Donny in the play-offs.

What are the rules?

In past years, standard loans would finish on a specified date, usually the last day of the regular season, then their registration would revert to their parent club at once - meaning the player in question would be eligible to play in play-off games.

And other emergency loans were for 90 days, meaning that when they finished they could return to their parent club and go straight into the team, in theory.

Last season, however, a new system began and all loans extended right up until the next registration period begins.

Essentially, the rule means no returning loan player can turn out for the team until the new transfer window opens.

The Football League’s player registration rules spells the situation out in black and white.

Regulation 53.1.4 states: “A player whose standard loan expires (or terminates) at the end of the season of the transferee club but prior to the completion of the league matches of his parent club (where it is a member club) will not be eligible to play in any remaining league matches in that season.”

So, Garratt, Amos, McCullough and Kiwoyma and Mandeville won't be available to McCann for selection against Charlton and possibly beyond in the play-offs.

What about the players on loan at Doncaster?

Donny currently have five players on temporary stays at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Defenders Paul Downing and Aaron Lewis, midfielder Herbie Kane, winger Mallik Wilks and striker Tyler Smith will be available for selection.

All five will be eligible to play over the two legs, and a potential play-off final at Wembley.