Doncaster Rovers: John Schofield lays out plans for La Manga training camp

He is the man tasked with holding the reins until a new manager is appointed at Doncaster Rovers.

Saturday, 29th June 2019, 23:09 pm
Updated Sunday, 30th June 2019, 18:38 pm
John Schofield (right) with fellow Rovers coach Gary McSheffrey

And John Schofield is determined to have a fit, firing and united squad to present to the new boss on his arrival.

Schofield is heading the team of coaches during the early days of pre-season with the Rovers squad having taken part in testing since Thursday.

On Monday they will head out to La Manga in Spain for a week of intensive work.

And Schofield insists squad bonding is high on the agenda.

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"I think it's important when you go away with a group of men that you have a good time together," he said.

"When I say that, I mean a good time in the way we develop as a group, the hard work that we're going to do.

"The living together, the being together takes place over the season any way with you spending a lot of time in each other's pockets.

"So building those relationships, getting that team bonding in, through on-field and off-field activities is important.

"But we'll be having a real emphasis on winning, whatever we do out there, anything we do, any competitions, will be geared towards being a winner.”

Rovers are only a little more than a week away from their first pre-season friendly at Rossington Main. Former boss Grant McCann had planned for the fixture to see two sides play 45 minutes apiece and it is likely the same process will take place.

Schofield says his focus this week will be to prepare the squad for that game and ensure the players are on track to be in prime condition for the opening match of the campaign against Gillingham on August 3.

He said: "I've had a meeting with all the staff and the players and it's all about being ready.

"The first game is on July 9. Our build-up is towards that - Rossington away.

"We need to make sure we've covered all bases. That our fitness levels are good, that our touch is back with us, our movement is back, our ball manipulation, getting into good areas of the football pitch.

"The guys have been doing it a long time now and it's just about getting the feel back for the pitch.

"The message is that every one of us down at Cantley Park and at the Keepmoat is in place to make the process of getting the best, fittest, strongest, most tactical and technical team come that first game of the season.

"The process for doing that is already in place."

The entire Rovers squad will depart for La Manga on Monday, including new signings Brad Halliday, Madger Gomes and Reece James.

While striker John Marquis is expected to leave the club before the end of the transfer window, he will be a part of the training camp.