Fans’ forum: Mike Follows, Paul Mayfield, Jay Baker and Wes Grimes preview the new season

Can Rovers repeat their 2012/13 League One title glory? Our fans' forum are cautiously optimistic about the season ahead.
Can Rovers repeat their 2012/13 League One title glory? Our fans' forum are cautiously optimistic about the season ahead.

Meet our new fans’ forum.

Mike Follows, Paul Mayfield, Jay Baker and Wesley Grimes will be our regular voices from the stands this season.

This week they provide their thoughts on the new League One season - and how they think Doncaster Rovers will fare.

Name: Mike Follows

Age: 33

Lives: Edenthorpe

Occupation: Commercial business manager

Sits: South Stand

Fan type: Passionate, patient realist

Thoughts on pre-season:

It’s been a tumultuous pre-season once again with matters off the pitch distracting from the important business of building a squad to get us back into the Championship.

That said, Paul Dickov has been professional throughout and got us into as good a place as could be hoped for.

Hopes for the season:

Obviously, I hope that we bounce straight back up at the first time of asking.

That’s quite an ambition but the quality of League One wasn’t great last time we were here and we won the division without playing particularly well.

We’ll need to remain quite injury free and hope that our forwards rediscover their scoring boots if we’re going to compete at the top end of the table.

A lot also depends on how well we work the loan market to add young and hungry players to the squad. We did very well on this front last season with Sam Johnstone in particular being an excellent loan.

Key man: Mark De Val

After a frustrating start to his Rovers career with injuries, illness and cultural adjustment keeping him on the fringe of the team, I think Marc De Val will be given the chance to shine and could dictate the play from midfield.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of him this season.

Rovers to finish: 10th

Promoted: Sheff Utd, MK Dons, Peterborough

Relegated: Gillingham, Fleetwood, Crawley, Notts County

Name: Paul Mayfield

Doncaster Rovers Supporters Club (Retford branch) secretary

Age: 54

Lives: Retford

Occupation: Sales

Sits: Press box

Fan type: Love all things Doncaster Rovers!

Hopes for the season:

After another troubled pre-season, I think Paul Dickov has got together a strong looking side in a short space of time.

It will take a while for us to gel but I can see us getting stronger as the season goes on. Staying injury free is vital.

We need to get stability at the club and if Rob Jones has fully recovered he will be a talisman.

I think we will have a good cup run, possibly in the JPT. I think we will be knocking on the door of the play-offs.

Last time we left signings so late, we won the title. Is that an omen?

If we get promotion, we need to be financially secure and prepared.

Key man: Nathan Tyson

Despite being 32, I think Nathan Tyson could be a very good signing. His goals will be important.

With Coppinger and Forrester feeding him, I think he will be a hit with the fans.

Rovers to finish: 4th

Promoted: Barnsley, Leyton Orient, Doncaster

Relegated: Oldham, Crewe, Colchester, Fleetwood

Name: Jay Baker

VSC member

Age: 37

Lives: Sheffield

Occupation: Social entrepreneur

Sits: South Stand

Fan type: Always there, rain or shine.

Thoughts on pre-season:

Another summer unnecessarily disrupted by public relations and pipe dreams.

Terry Bramall and Dick Watson have stood the test of time, stood by the club, and finally silenced their critics.

Paul Dickov, meanwhile, has the patience of a saint and has still put together a team fully capable of promotion.

Hopes for the season:

Like any supporter, I hope we achieve promotion.

But maybe more important than that, I’m hoping it’s the start of an era where we can finally think long-term, as a team and as a club, using this season as a foundation to build on.

Paul Dickov remaining is a part of that, too.

I’m not alone in being bemused by the choice when he was appointed manager, but despite the challenges he’s had to deal with, I think he’s done a great job for a comparatively young manager, understands the bigger picture, and seems to really care about the club.

Key man: James Coppinger

With all due respect to the ‘Corporal’, captain Rob Jones, I have to emphasise what a class act James Coppinger is, staying with us in the belief that the grass is no greener on another team’s pitch.

He’s so valuable to us, and such a reliable player.

Rovers to finish: 1st

Promoted: Doncaster, Sheff Utd, Barnsley

Relegated: Port Vale, Rochdale, Oldham, Swindon

Name: Wesley Grimes

Doncaster Rovers Supporters Group (founder member)

Age: 27

Lives: Doncaster

Occupation: Retail manager

Sits: South Stand

Fan type: Occasional optimist, regular cynic

Thoughts on pre-season:

It’s difficult to see where we will place this year as I expect a very different side to line up against Yeovil.

Sadly the boardroom has dominated the summer instead of signings but I have faith in Dickov and the board to cobble a side together capable of being competitive.

Hopes for the season:

I don’t think a swift return to the Championship is on the cards this time.

We carried it to the wire last year but unfortunately most of the first team have moved on leaving us very thin on the ground as I write.

The ultimate aim must be to get some youngsters playing the way Dickov wants and getting them tied down to decent contracts.

Away from the football I hope the club continues with its fantastic ‘In Rovers We Trust campaign’ with the Doncaster Rovers Supporters Group, the VSC and the Supporters Club.

Key man: Theo Robinson

I think Theo Robinson will have an excellent year at this level.

His pace will be vital against some of the more robust centre backs. I think we’ll see more of the elusive Mark De Val this year as well. He’s looked sharp in pre-season.

Rovers to finish: 7th

Promoted: Sheffield Utd, Preston, Leyton Orient

Relegated: Rochdale, Gillingham, Port Vale, Chesterfield