Doncaster Rovers: ‘It’s up to me and the players to follow in their footsteps’ – Grant McCann’s pride as Rovers named League One Family Club of the Year

Matty Blair speaks to youngsters working with the Club Doncaster Foundation
Matty Blair speaks to youngsters working with the Club Doncaster Foundation

Manager Grant McCann says it is up to him and his players to deliver success on the pitch to match Doncaster Rovers’ award winning achievements off it.

Rovers were this week named the League One Family Club of the Year while Matty Blair was crowned the divisional winner of the Community Player of the Year award. Both Rovers and Blair will go on to vie for the overall EFL awards in their respective categories.

McCann believes the recognition is well-deserved and hopes to be able to back it up with the team delivering results. 

“It speaks volumes for what the club does,” he told the Free Press.

“The whole foundation - not just football but every aspect of life really. I think they've been outstanding with that.

“He as a team want to try to follow in their footsteps.”

In awarding Rovers the Family Club prize, the EFL cited the club’s fan focus including kit design competitions and Donny Dog’s Kennel within the family stand.

Rivalling them for the overall EFL Family Club of the Year award are Middlesbrough and Mansfield Town.

McCann says he was attracted to the managerial vacancy at Rovers last summer partly because of their strong community work and focus on families.

He said: “It's one of the big reasons why I was desperate to come for that interview in the summer.

“It's what I'm about - I'm a family man and the club do so much work behind the scenes in the commercial department, the media department, to make things like that possible.

“And also the players. A lot of clubs I've been at, I've never been anywhere where the players want to be so involved with the community work.

“It's a credit to them for that.

“I remember going down to one of the EFL awards and Andy Butler and Matty Blair won awards.”

The latest award for Blair comes after another year of tireless community work, including assisting with the Fit Rovers programme, making more player visits than any other squad member and attending events in participation with the mental health charity Mind.

McCann said: “Matty is always thinking of other people and I think that reflects on his performances.

“He's so dedicated to his game. I read a piece about him getting his family life in order as well to help him on and off the pitch.

“We got to Champneys on Monday and he went into reception and handed out the treatments to the boys, what time they're having them and things like that. He just takes stuff like that on happily.

“He just thinks of others all the time.”

Blair will contest the overall EFL Community Player of the Year award with Rotherham United’s Will Vaulks and Newport County's Dan Butler.