Doncaster Rovers: Long servant Matty Blair looking to help where needed
In a summer of great change at Doncaster Rovers, Matty Blair has found himself catapulted into notable status among the squad.
The pacy midfielder is now the second longest serving senior player on the club's books, following the departures of Luke McCullough, Marko Marosi, Liam Mandeville, Andy Butler and Tommy Rowe since the end of last season.
“That is a bit weird to be honest,” Blair told the Free Press.
“But I suppose I’m going into my fourth season here so it makes sense.
“I’ve loved every minute here and long may it continue.”
The departure of those figures not only elevates his position on the long serving ranks, it does so in terms of career experience in the club – particularly with Butler and Rowe’s exits.
As a popular, vocal figure in the camp, Blair will undoubtedly be looked upon for leadership as the remoulding of the Rovers squad continues under Darren Moore's hand.
But he hopes the process will be organic rather than forced.
“I think I’ve tried to do it naturally rather than making it look forced or be forced upon me because of the situation we may find ourselves in,” he said.
“I think on a whole I’m quite a natural, I wouldn't say leader, but helper.
“I’ll always give my all to help anybody and that goes for everyone at the football club, not just the lads that I play with every week.”
It currently appears that Blair will have to fight for starting berths after several years of being a regular in the side.
Sign up to our daily newsletter
And with Rovers having a out and out right back in Brad Halliday on their books, it seems the 31-year-old’s days as an auxiliary full back may be over – for now at least.
“Probably at this point I won’t be in there,” Blair said.
“I never thought I'd be playing at right back – especially in League One – but it’s happened for the last two seasons.
“You never know what is going to happen in football.
“All I can do is make sure I’m ready and if the manager wants to say that I’m playing at right back, I’ll be playing at right back.
“I’d never say no to it.”
As for his own prospects this season, Blair is focusing on being ready for whenever he is called upon to play.
“I feel really good," he said. “I feel fit and great in that.
“We’ll just take it one game at a time and I’ll carry on enjoying it.
"I think a lot of the work that was done before the gaffer came in was invaluable for getting everyone ready.
“It allowed him to come in then and get straight into working with us on what he wanted us to do, rather than fitness stuff.
“I think people will have seen the benefits of that over the last few weeks.”