Doncaster Rovers boss gives update on Andy Butler following defender's cryptic tweet

Andy Butler must accept that he will not be starting matches every week for Doncaster Rovers next season, according to boss Richie Wellens.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd July 2021, 4:56 pm

Tom Anderson and Ro-Shaun Williams will be Rovers’ first choice centre half pairing for the coming campaign, Wellens revealed.

And he says Butler’s future at the club will be determined by whether he is willing to accept his game time being limited.

Butler has sparked intrigue over his future with social media posts, which some supporters have interpreted as suggesting he has no part to play.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Andy Butler
Andy Butler

The 37-year-old has been taking part in training sessions later in the day during the first week of pre-season, along with other first team players.

But Wellens insists there is nothing out of the ordinary and Butler can have a role with Rovers this season.

“The situation is that Andy has trained every single day and is cracking on as normal,” Wellens told the Free Press.

“There are three centre backs at the club and our budget is tight.

“At the moment I look at Ro-Shaun, who has come in and been exceptional, and Tom Anderson, and they are my two first choice centre backs at the moment.

“How things develop over pre-season, we’ll see.

“I’ve been Andy Butler’s age and all I wanted to do is play. If Andy Butler is prepared to accept that he might play some weeks and he might not play others, I’ve got no problem with that.

“If I was playing, I was really low maintenance and you didn’t really have to speak to me. Towards the latter end of my career I became really high maintenance and low input because I couldn’t accept that I couldn’t play every week.

“Sometimes that’s the issue you get with people coming to the end of their career.

“He’s fit as a fiddle. I’ve watched him running over the last three or four days. His running stats are very good.

“As I look, Tom Anderson is the best centre half in the league and he’s the club captain, which we’ve already spoken to the players about.

“And then Ro-Shaun has come in, he’s athletic and I think those two will compliment each other really well.”

Wellens insists he has no issue with Butler taking charge of the Belles while also continuing his playing career.

On his arrival in May, Wellens said that he did not believe it was possible to coach and play at the same time but clarified that his comments related to the idea of Butler continuing to work with the Rovers first team after his spell as manager last season.

“When I spoke about that, I meant about our first team,” he said. “You cannot coach our first team and play in our first team as well.

“In terms of the Belles, it’s Tuesday and Thursday evenings, it’s not a problem and I’m fine with that.”

Butler waited until November for his first league appearance last season but then established himself in the side as a regular starter until taking charge of the side in early March. He then played the final seven matches of the season alongside his role as manager.

*

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.