Doncaster Rovers: Grant McCann lays out plans for make-up of his squad

Grant McCann says he is against the idea of having two senior players for each position as he looks to finalise his new-look Doncaster Rovers squad this summer.

By Liam Hoden
Friday, 21 June, 2019, 08:00
Grant McCann and his side

McCann is determined to enter the 2019/20 campaign with a much tighter squad than he did last term and will call on the promising youngsters in his U23 group to boost numbers.

The Rovers boss is looking to maintain strong harmony among his players by pushing for greater parity in wages across the group.

But he also believes players having genuine opportunities in the side helps to keep everyone happy and motivated.

"In terms of the squad, I want to have a squad of about 18 first team players, obviously with two keepers," McCann told the Free Press.

"But then I want to make sure there are four or five of the U23s around us every single day in training.

"The worst thing, and I've experienced it myself as a player, is having two players for each position.

"It can cause rifts in the camp. People are disappointed every week with four or five left off the bench."

McCann pointed to his first few weeks in the job following his arrival at the club almost a year ago as a reason why a larger squad is not necessarily a good thing.

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He felt he spent too much time attempting to move on the likes of Liam Mandeville and Tyler Garratt when his attentions should have been elsewhere.

"I've spoken before about the size of the squad when I came in," he said. "There were a lot of boys in there that weren't going to affect my team.

"I spent most of my days, ringing managers asking if they want ted to take them on loan. It was a nightmare.

"Probably after the first two weeks of pre-season because I then realised these boys weren't going to affect me. I was taking up all my time trying to get these boys out on loan - which we did by the way, it was nothing to do with their agents."

McCann says he would rather present a pathway to the club's young players than bring in seniors who would not be guaranteed game time.

"You look at Lirak Hasani, Danny Amos, Branden Horton, Shane Blaney, Rian McLean, Max Watters - these sort of people coming around us," McCann said.

"The younger ones like AJ Greaves, Myron Gibbons, Rieves Boocock and a young right back coming up through the U18s who a lot won't know much about, Elliott Walker, who we're really excited about.

"We want to make sure we create a real identity and this pathway for these kids and it's not bringing in 23 first team players."