James Coppinger's role in new deals for young Doncaster Rovers midfielders
Liam Ravenhill and Lirak Hasani have James Coppinger to thank for seeing their stays at Doncaster Rovers extended.
With little footage available of their abilities on the pitch, new Rovers boss Richie Wellens had little evidence to help in his decision over whether to keep contract offers on the table for the pair.
But a glowing reference from Rovers legend Coppinger saw Wellens keep the offers alive and both have extended their stays.
“I’ve listened to James Coppinger in terms of them," Wellens said.
"They’re going to get a lot of opportunities in pre-season because I haven’t seen much of them myself.
“They’ll be given plenty of chances and I’ve said to them both come back as fit as you can, make sure you hit the ground running and do enough to make me think ‘this kid can play’.
“They’ll be exposed to first-team football and if they take the chances that we give them then that is absolutely fantastic.
"If not, we’ll get them out on loan to further their development because there’s no point these players sitting in the stands watching the first team play.
“It’s important that the Academy attracts local players.
“We don’t want to be losing any players to clubs around us and this is a sign that, if you do well, we will give you a route to the first team.”