Doncaster Rovers: Reassuring and passionate - thoughts on Darren Moore's reintroduction to the town

It started and finished with a snug handshake - one of those reassuringly friendly ones with the spare hand placed on top of the shaking hands themselves.

By Liam Hoden
Saturday, 13 July, 2019, 11:42
New Doncaster Rovers manager Darren Moore meets with the media for the first time. Picture: Chris Etchells

And what came in between was as reassuring and friendly as that which bookended it.

Darren Moore reintroduced himself to the Doncaster public after 22 years and could barely remove the smile from his face as he did so.

The big man is back and right now it seems that everything is right in the world of Rovers.

His appointment has been met with widespread acclaim, both in the town and beyond. The word coup has been used on several occasions.

And though you never quite know whether expectations and reality will eventually match up, his first meeting with the media as Rovers boss only saw confidence grow.

First up the geniality of the man, which went well beyond politeness and attentiveness in and around the interview setting.

The smile was locked in place on his face, never more so than when reflecting on the connection with the town that began 24 years ago and saw him reach iconic status by the time he departed.

That connection is genuine, with talk of reacquainting himself with old friends in the town and a feeling of amazement of the transformation of the club during his absence.

When the opportunity arose, he wanted to come back. And, let's face it, given his reputation he would not have been short of options over the last few months with plenty more likely to come his way before the end of the year.

There was a lot of talk of the merits of Club Doncaster, of bringing players into Club Doncaster rather than Doncaster Rovers. You could have been forgiven for thinking there had been some PR intervention before Moore took his seat in front of the press.

But delving deeper into the character of the man mountain and hearing more about his outlook on life, making sure there was a toeing of the party line was not required.

Rovers means plenty to Moore, and seeing what they have become only seems to have increased that affection.

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Because of that they certainly appear to be in good hands.

And then came the sureness with which he approached talk of life at the club under his tenure.

The ambitious claims and excited assertions which characterised the previous management have given way to a calmer, more composed approach.

When the inevitable question came about the overall target for the campaign, it was batted away with sensible consideration. There will be no goals set until Moore has had the chance to assess the squad at his disposal and the potential new faces who could come in.

Of course it will not be long before ambitious targets are on the lips of plenty of people surrounding the club.

Rovers after all, find themselves managed by a man who little more than a year ago was, albeit briefly, a Premier League boss. And one who pushed hard and long for a return to the top flight for so much of last season.

And then there is the sheer presence of the man. Not just physically - although that is considerable, as anyone on the other end of one of his handshakes could attest.

Gavin Baldwin described it as an aura. While Rovers' chief executive can stray into overtly emotional territory when discussing such matters, on this occasion there is definitely substance behind it.

It is difficult to imagine Moore not commanding an audience, even before taking into account his achievements and standing within the game.

Though he said nothing outlandish or, in truth, particularly exciting, it was easy to come away feeling excited about what may lay ahead for Rovers.

As far as first impressions go, Rovers appear to be in good hands.

And given the unexpectedly tumultuous nature of the last few weeks, that is as reassuring as a good firm handshake.