James Coppinger: ‘If I felt like I couldn’t give anything to the team then I wouldn’t be here’

James Coppinger
James Coppinger

Doncaster Rovers legend James Coppinger has stressed that he has not signed a new contract ‘for the sake of it’.

Coppinger, 37, will embark upon his 15th season with Rovers next term.

He was voted the club’s official Player of the Year and Players’ Year of the Year last season, which he says encouraged him to carry on playing.

“I never wanted to leave after 14 years here,” Coppinger told The Star.

“But, at the same time, if I was to think that I was just going to see another year out and just do it for the sake of doing it [I wouldn’t do it].

“I’ve said this to the manager and he said it to me. I wouldn’t do it and he wouldn’t keep me.

“If I wasn’t performing and had nothing to give he wouldn’t offer me a contract.

“And if I felt like I couldn’t give anything to the team, and I didn’t think the club was going in the right direction, then I wouldn’t be here.”

Boss Darren Ferguson told the club’s official website: “Copps is a big part of Doncaster Rovers and I am delighted he will continue to play a significant role next season.

“He sets the standard for the rest of the lads to follow every day.

“He gives his all in every training session and there could be no greater role model for the younger players to follow.”

He added: “He prepares well and manages his body between games, he still enjoys his football and has progressed in recent seasons.

“He still has a real desire to better himself and wants to learn from our coaching staff.”