Doncaster Rovers: One more crack at the Championship ‘would mean everything’ to James Coppinger

James Coppinger
James Coppinger

James Coppinger admits testing himself in the Championship one more time would mean everything as he gears up for Doncaster Rovers’ play-off campaign.

The 38-year-old was part of the Rovers side that reached the second tier via the play-offs in 2008 and scored the goal that immediately returned the club to the Championship in 2013 following relegation.

After signing a new one-year deal which will see him into his 16th season at the club, he says the opportunity to represent Rovers in the Championship again is a major motivation heading into the Sunday’s first leg of the semi-final against Charlton Athletic.

“It’d mean everything,” he said.

“I think the manager said it, that this could potentially be the last chance for some of the older lads to play in the Championship or compete to get into the Championship and he's right.

“It’s a magnificent league and the difference is huge in terms of going away and playing teams, the majority of who have played in the Premier League.

“They’re huge, huge clubs and it would be amazing to be a part of that.”

The veteran looks back fondly on the four years Rovers enjoyed in the Championship, primarily under Sean O’Driscoll.

And he is keen to know whether this Rovers side could spring a surprise on the competitive second tier if they were to win promotion.

“Four seasons in the Championship we held our own and competed really well,” he said.

“I think we surprised a lot of people the way we played and what we did.

“I think it gets overlooked a lot because of where we’ve been since.

“It’d be nice to go there and potentially play those teams week in and week out and see where we are.”