Doncaster Rovers: No sentiment in new deal for James Coppinger

Sentiment is the least of the factors driving the decision to hand fan favourite James Coppinger a new deal with Doncaster Rovers according to boss Grant McCann.

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 19:34 pm
Updated Monday, 6th May 2019, 20:43 pm
James Coppinger

All-time record appearance maker Coppinger will enter his 16th year as a Rovers player after signing a new one-year contract.

And McCann says he would not have offered the deal had the veteran not been one of the key men in his squad.

"He is a player that deserves to be here," McCann said.

"It's not about what he's done in the past. It's what he's done this year.

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"Copps has been outstanding. He's been involved in the best part of 30 goals this season.

"We don't look at his age. We look to see what he's done on the pitch and what he brings to the training ground each day with the younger boys.

"He's been first class really and he's still enjoying it."

Coppinger has made 49 appearances for Rovers this season, streaking clear of the 600 game mark for the club.

The 38-year-old signed in 2004 as has won promotion with the club on three occasions.

As Coppinger prepares to challenge for a fourth with Rovers set for their play-off semi-final against Charlton Athletic on Sunday, McCann said experienced players in the squad such as him have been incredibly valuable already this season.

"They bring so much more than on the pitch," he said.

"Copps, Tommy Rowe, John Marquis, Matty Blair - these boys manage things themselves in the changing room.

"That is something you need in any successful team.

"There's things they probably stop before they get to me which is what you need.

"I think we've got a very good changing room like that where they can sort things out without needing to knock on my door.

"But having those lads in there is a big part of that."