Expert corner: John Doolan

SIGNING for Blackpool was probably the worst decision I ever made. Everyone had left Doncaster - Dave Morley went to Macclesfield, Gregg Blundell left for Chester and Francis Tierney had retired - so travelling across from Liverpool on my own was killing me to be fair.

Because of my family it made it difficult to up sticks and move to Doncaster.

They offered me a contract that was not quite what I hoped for considering the season I had just enjoyed.

I wasn't asking for the world but unfortunately we couldn't come to an agreement.

So I ended up going to Blackpool - but from the minute I signed I knew it wasn't right.

When you leave a club like Doncaster it's difficult because it is a great club, with great fans, and I felt I was loved there.

Leaving Doncaster is my biggest regret.

Colin Hendry signed me for Blackpool but left the club a few months later and Simon Grayson took over.

He told me I wasn't the type of player he was looking for and I had to accept that.

That's football and I've got no qualms with him about it.

Funnily enough their fortunes have transformed since I left!

I still speak to a lot of the ex-Doncaster lads and see Gregg, Tim (Ryan) and Dave - and I'm still in touch with Mickey Walker.

Almost all the lads who I played with have left now but James Coppinger is still there at the club.

It's brilliant to see James go up through the divisions and now get his chance in the Championship - it's a great stage to showcase his talents.

He is one fantastic footballer - you don't play for Newcastle in the Premiership if you're a bad player.

When he joined us from Exeter he was just a young lad but he has done tremendously well to get back to the higher leagues.

The talent the lad has got is frightening and he showed what he can do in last season's play-off game against Southend - he was the catalyst for Doncaster that night.

As a midfield player myself it's great to see Doncaster's success being driven by such a strong and talented midfield.

Richie Wellens, who I played against a lot of times, is different class.

I always thought he was a good footballer, good on the ball, and he just doesn't give it away.

It would have been nice to play alongside him but he left Blackpool for Oldham just before I went there.

Rovers' other key midfielder is Brian Stock and, although I have only played against him a couple of times, he really impressed me.

There has been talk of Premier League clubs after him and I'm not surprised because the lad is an international player - there's always going to be interest from top flight clubs.

Nowadays I'm playing for Southport and doing a bit of coaching with the Under 15s and 16s at Everton.

I'm a big Everton fan and was hoping Rovers would get to play them in the FA Cup.

Prediction: If Blackpool put pressure on Doncaster and try to force the issue they have a chance. But, if Doncaster play the way they can, I think they will have too much for them. So it's 2-0 to Rovers.

Free Press prediction: Rovers enjoy their day at the seaside with a 2-0 win.