Doncaster Rovers: The unsung hero in the impressive start to the season - Liam Hoden column

Others have stolen the limelight with eye-catching moments or vital contributions but none have been more solid or reliable so far.

Saturday, 31st August 2019, 12:00 pm
Tom Anderson against Crystal Palace last season

In Doncaster Rovers’ impressive start to the League One campaign, there has been an unsung hero that has been a massively important piece to the overall structure.

Step forward Tom Anderson.

The towering centre half became an almost forgotten man during a summer of worries over the loss of Andy Butler and the missing out on the signature of Paul Downing.

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Many – myself included – pointed to the recovery of Joe Wright as a major bright spark for Rovers, before his untimely injury on the eve of the season.

But, in the four games so far this season, Anderson has yet again showed he should never be overlooked.

After a slow start to last season, he emerged as Mr Reliable whenever called upon by Grant McCann.

But he looks like a new man this term – and it is more than just down to increasingly floppy hair.

Anderson bats away balls with ease, throws himself in front of everything – just as he has done since he arrived, initially on loan, from Burnley.

But he has shown an increasing confidence with the ball at his feet. Striding out of defence in possession and beginning attacks. He did not look entirely out of place in a stint up front as Rovers chased a way back into the cup tie at Grimsby Town.

It is also no coincidence that Cameron John has looked strong following his introduction. The 20-year-old has had beside him a defensive rock to help guide and marshal him through games, allowing him to showcase his excellent potential.

But when it comes to potential, it should be noted that Anderson will only turn 26 next week.

With barely 150 senior games under his belt, it is fair to predict the best is yet to come from the Lancashire lad.

While that bodes well for Rovers, it should also spur them into action with Anderson among a plethora of players whose contracts expire at the end of the current campaign.

When it comes to next summer, it would be wise to avoid supporters worrying about another key centre half not returning through the players’ entrance at the Keepmoat.