Niall Mason says he is “buzzing” for his first taste of a South Yorkshire derby when Doncaster Rovers make the short journey to Rotherham United tomorrow.
The 21-year-old, who is expected to retain his place at left back at the New York Stadium, missed the 1-1 draw between the sides in November.
“I played against Grimsby home and away last season,” said Mason.
“And in the FA Youth Cup I played against Portsmouth when I was at Southampton.
“That was a good one. There was about 15,000 there just for a youth game, which was a good experience.
“But this is probably my first proper derby.
“These are the type of games you play football for,” he added.
“Unfortunately I was injured for the one at home so I missed out on that. I was gutted about that so I’m buzzing for this one.”
This weekend’s clash is heading for a 12,000 sell-out. From a Doncaster perspective it will require cool and calm heads to cope not just with the atmosphere but also a Millers outfit that has won ten of their last 13 games, putting them right in the automatic promotion picture.
“I don’t think we’ve got any problems like that,” said Mason, on the temperament of this Rovers side.
“I think we’re all really looking forward to it and we’re going to enjoy the occasion.”
Mason has found himself in and out of the team in recent weeks but made a solid return in last weekend’s 3-0 win at home to Fleetwood United.
“I’m used to playing every game and it was a bit of new thing for me being in and out of the side,” he said.
“It was probably deservedly so, to be fair. I had a bit of a dip in form in a few games when I played left back.
“But I feel that I’ve been consistent during my time here. It was just a little dip in form but I’ve come back from that now.”
Ferguson has no fresh injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s game.
Andy Williams is set to return to training next week after three months out with an ankle injury.