Ben Whiteman reacts to news of Christmas Day training for Doncaster Rovers

Doncaster Rovers captain Ben Whiteman is getting something this festive week that he has never had before - training on Christmas Day.

Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th December 2019, 11:45 am
Ben Whiteman

Darren Moore has insisted upon the squad reporting to Cantley Park for a training session on Christmas Day morning, breaking with recent tradition at the club.

While the skipper admits there were a few moans and groans among the squad when the schedule was confirmed, he says it is something the group is now looking forward to.

“It’s going to be a little bit different for me this year but I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“We’ll be in during the morning and then straight back home for some Christmas dinner.

“We can’t eat too much though!

“I’ve never been in. It’s the first time I’ll ever have been in.

“We’re professional athletes. Sometimes you’ve got to do this and the big thing is winning on Boxing Day.

“I remember last year though going to Fleetwood after not being in for training and it was awful.

“But I don’t think that was down to not being in on Christmas Day, I think it was because every single one of us had an off day.”

Rovers will have three games in six days, starting with the Boxing Day trip to Peterborough United.

Whiteman says the period is always more mentally taxing than physically and he believes the whole squad will have to take their share of the burden.

“It’s a difficult time and we’ve got a lot of young players that are going to have to be called upon now,” he said.

“I was like that as well and you have to step up to the plate because you’re going to be playing every few days and they’ve got to get through it.

“It’s more about the mental side rather than the physical side.

“I love playing at Christmas. All your family are off work and come to watch you.

“It’s always an exciting time of the year.”