Latest on trialists and transfer plans at Doncaster Rovers

Richie Wellens hopes to be in a position to offer a contract to at least one of the trialists currently training with Doncaster Rovers by the weekend.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 15th July 2021, 5:36 pm

Wellens invited Aidan Barlow, Jon Flanagan, Dan Gardner and Tunji Akinola away on Rovers’ pre-season getaway to Scotland at the start of the week and has been impressed sufficiently to decide to offer at least one deal.

He will discuss finances with the club’s recruitment team on Friday and hopes to emerge with a contract to hand out.

Wellens also revealed he is close to agreeing a loan for a forward but says at this stage he must balance finances accordingly.

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Richie Wellens gives out instructions during Saturday's friendly with Rossington Main. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX

“We have a recruitment meeting on Friday and we’ll look to do one, maybe two of the trialists,” Wellens told the Free Press.

“But we’ve got a big week of training on Thursday and Friday and then if some of them do really well in the game at Bradford on Saturday, then it opens doors for them.

“It won’t be too many and I’m also aware we have our four loan spaces available.

“We are talking to a club about a striker/wide man and there’s the goalkeeper situation.

“At the moment the budget wouldn’t stretch to those two loans and then any of the trialists getting a contract.

“But we are trying to manoeuvre things to free up some of the budget.

“With the goalkeeper we’re more or less at the same position we were last week.

“It’s not really developed. There’s one we could get done but the ratchet for not playing them is still causing a bit of a problem.”

Wellens is preparing to welcome back other trialists who were not able to make the Scotland trip as they bid to earn deals with the club also.

He said: “Charlie Colkett, Owen Bailey and Aramide Oteh were planned in to meet us at Spennymoor but that game was obviously cancelled.

“They’ll be in training on Thursday and Friday and will be involved on Saturday.”

The Rovers squad has been hit by a positive case of Covid-19, with several players forced to isolate due to close contact with the individual.

As he prepares for Saturday’s trip to Bradford City, Wellens says he will be forced to welcome in additional trialists in order to boost numbers.

“I think it’s important we have a squad of 22 for Saturday,” he said.

“We’ll do our best but we might struggle to get the full allocation. We’re working hard to try to get four or five more bodies for the game.”

Wellens intends to fill his quota of five loanees for the coming season, with a forward and a goalkeeper taking him to three along with Matt Smith.

And he expects the final two will follow closer to the start of the campaign.

“We’ll definitely use the four loans up but hopefully as time goes on the prices will come down,” he said.

“Hopefully the last two will be free loans and they will fill the squad up.

“At the moment we’ve got a real good quality group but we need more numbers to give us adequate cover when injuries and suspensions do come.”

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