Doncaster Rovers: Ben Sheaf looking to make himself a king in the north

Listening to many footballers you would get the impression the north of England is a completely different world to the south.

Sunday, 25th August 2019, 10:00 am
Ben Sheaf. Picture: Marie Caley

Acclimatising to life on the top side of the Watford Gap proves a difficult task for many. Some let geography shape their career moves as much as anything else.

‘It takes some getting used to’ is an often heard phrase when a move from south to north is talked about.

But you will not catch Ben Sheaf making similar statements about his loan switch from Arsenal to Doncaster Rovers.

The versatile youngster has shown little sign of experiencing teething problems on the pitch after a string of impressive performances so far.

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And, he himself suggests, the 20-year-old has had no problem settling in to life in South Yorkshire.

“It's been quite a good transition to be honest,” he told the Free Press.

“I've got no complaints about the area. The people are really friendly up here and I've settled in really nicely.

“A lot of that is thanks to the lads and the staff around the place – they’ve really helped me settle in.

“I’m just getting to know my way around the area but so far I’m loving it.

“I’m living around a few of the boys so we’ve got things to do.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them and the area as well.

"It's nice having a change sometimes and getting to move around the country. With other jobs you're not always able to have that chance.

“It’s good to explore the country.”

Sheaf would have been close by to a familiar face but for an unfortunate turn of events.

His brother Max is on the books of Hull City but has joined Cheltenham Town on loan this season, putting a few hours of driving time between the siblings once more.

“It’s a shame because I moved within an hour of him and now he’s gone back down south,” Sheaf said.

“That’s football for you and it’s good for him that he's gone to get what I think will be a really good experience for him.”

In terms of a really good experience, Sheaf is determined to ensure he can look back on his time at the Keepmoat in similar fashion.

And he hopes personal success will come alongside team progress as Rovers look to compete at the top end of League One this term.

“I just want to be involved and play as many games as I can," he said.

“And in that, get as many wins as we can.

“I think with that should come with being up there this season.

“I think we've got the squad and the quality of players to do it and a great staff too.

"I think definitely this season I want to be playing regularly and help the team as much as I can.

“That would be a successful year for me and hopefully it involves being up there. Who knows what is going to happen.

“The manager is only in his fifth or sixth week so it’s still early stages.

“The patterns of play, team structures and things like that, we’re still improving and getting better.

“The fact there's early good signs there is positive but we know there’s still a lot of room for improvement.

“Performances have been there and maybe not results. The manager says as long as performances are there then results will follow so hopefully that will happen.”