Doncaster Rovers: Ben Whiteman ready to become leader this season
Ben Whiteman says he is ready to take up more of a leadership role with Doncaster Rovers this season.
Departures of experienced heads and former captains Andy Butler and Tommy Rowe has seen the average age of the squad drop, with the ages of new signings Reece James (25), Madger Gomes (22) and Brad Halliday (23) leaving only James Coppinger (38), Matty Blair (30), Ali Crawford (27) and John Marquis (27) over the age of 26 within the group.
Though he is only 23, Whiteman made 50 appearances in the heart of the Rovers midfield last season, impressing enough to take a string of player of the year awards.
And he will actively look to play a guiding role for the young squad in the coming campaign.
“With the way last season went I played a lot of games," Whiteman said.
"There's older pros here like James Coppinger and Matty Blair that have played a lot of games.
"Hopefully I can take the amount of games I played last season and take on a bigger leadership role.
Whiteman admits defeat to Charlton Athletic on penalties in the play-off semi-finals has taken some getting over.
But he aims on build on an excellent season personally when Rovers look to mount another promotion push in the coming campaign.
He said: "I think this year is going to be building on what I did last season and hopefully repeating the individual awards and getting us into the play-offs.
"That was a big disappointment for us, losing to Charlton, and I've been thinking about it all summer.
"But we're back in now and all the focus is on next season."
Rowe is set to sign for Championship side Bristol City according to reports in the south west.