Doncaster Rovers 'is home' - Why Ben Whiteman ignored growing interest from elsewhere to sign new deal
Though the interest in him from elsewhere continues to intensify, Ben Whiteman insists the decision to commit his future to Doncaster Rovers was not a difficult one at all.
The skipper believes he has found a home at the Keepmoat and that it will take something special to tear him away.
Whiteman was the subject of failed bids from Hull City in the summer with multiple clubs showing interest in him since.
A new contract until the summer of 2023 therefore is a strong declaration of commitment from a player who insists it feels right for him to stay put.
“This is a club that has felt like home for me,” Whiteman told the Free Press.
“The manager is a massive part of that, and the staff, and another main reason is the lads.
“It was always going to be tough decision whether to stay or leave.
“But it just didn’t feel right for me yet.
“That’s not to say I’m going to leave but it just didn't feel right.
"Once you get that gut instinct it was an easy decision for me to stay.
“Getting that captain's armband was a big part of it too.
“Especially with everything that went off in the summer, the manager pulled me to one side along with Copps and said he would be club captain and I would be team captain.
“I couldn’t wish to share it with someone better than him. I think it's well documented on how close we are.”
There is no doubting that Whiteman will play at a higher level in the future. His progress since his arrival at Rovers has been exceptional as he has emerged as arguably the most complete midfielder in the third tier.
His ambition matches his ability but he remains confident that he can achieve the goal of playing in the Championship while sticking with Rovers.
“It’s been no secret and I’ve said it numerous times that I want to play as high as I can,” he said.
“Hopefully I can try to get this team into the Championship next year and see where that takes us.
“I feel that I’m ready now and I’m confident in my ability that I could make that step up but at the minute we're not there.
“At the moment my main focus is getting there and getting there with this team.”