James Coppinger selects his top team mates of the decade at Doncaster Rovers

The end of the decade has brought plenty of reflection on the events, highs and lows of the 2010s and particularly in the world of football.

Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 31st December 2019, 12:24 pm

When it comes to Doncaster Rovers, no one is better placed to look back and assess the period better than James Coppinger.

Present from the start of the decade until the end, the Rovers legend has shared the dressing room with the best and worst of players to have pulled on the red and white hoops in that time.

So who better to ask about the individuals that have stood out over the last ten years?

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James Coppinger with some of his current team mates at Doncaster Rovers

"Billy Sharp is a big one for obvious reasons in front of goal," Coppinger told the Free Press.

"He's gone on to play in the Premier League and just lives and breathes football.

"He lives and breathes scoring goals and that for me is why he's so good. His desire and his ability to get in the right place at the right time.

"The team, Richie Wellens, Brian Stock, Neil Sullivan - people like that.

"Good pros that come in, want to win and want to get better.

"I've spoken about it to the group, players that want to win and go to the next level are what you need.

"You need people that are hungry and we had that over the last ten years.

"Rob Jones was another one for me. Arguably he had the best season I've ever seen from one individual.

"Those four or five players spring to mind for me."

And what about an unsung hero for the period too, someone who delivers consistently both on the field and off it?

"There's always that player that goes under the radar and does all the hard work," Coppinger said.

"I think Paul Keegan was one. I know he didn't get his just rewards but the amount of work he did on the training ground and the amount of effort he put in every single day, he was great to have.

"You need players like that, characters around the dressing room. Although you might not see it on a matchday, he smashed a few and did all the hard work that people don't see.”