Richie Wellens on Doncaster Rovers' Scotland trip and cancellation of Spennymoor Town friendly

Richie Wellens insists he is not too concerned at Doncaster Rovers being forced to miss one of their scheduled friendlies this week.

Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 1:49 pm

Rovers had been due to visit Spennymoor Town on their return from their pre-season getaway in Scotland

But a player in the squad tested positive for Covid-19, with numerous others forced to isolate due to close contact with the individual, meaning Rovers did not have the numbers to fulfil the fixture.

Wellens does not believe cancelling the game itself will be too disruptive to his preparations for the new campaign.

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Rovers trained at the home of Peebles Rovers in Scotland.

But he admits the number of players missing for a ten day period will mean he will not get as much out of Saturday’s friendly with League Two Bradford City as he had hoped.

“To be honest the game itself was not really that important,” Wellens told the Free Press.

“It was on the way back down from Scotland and it filled the schedule.

“For me the next two weeks in training are more important. What we get out of them is more important than that and where we’ll get the more quality work.

“The Bradford game will be a patched up team with a number of trialists and young lads.

“It’s disruptive but we have to make the best of it.

“It will be a fitness exercise for the lads involved.“We’ll have to get more trialists involved to fulfil the fixture and it’ll be a good opportunity for them, as well the likes of Ben Blythe, Liam Ravenhill and Lirak Hasani to get more minutes than we might have anticipated.”

Wellens was delighted with the few days away in Peebles in the Scottish borders, where the focus was more on team bonding than intensive training.

“I think we got out of it everything we possibly could get out of it,” he said.

“The players worked really hard.

“With the restrictions that are in place in Scotland we got to watch the European final together in a room in the hotel and we spent the next evening playing cards and having quizzes.

“We got to know each other a lot more.

“We went for a round of golf on the Monday and for five minutes it was like we were in Spain, the next thing it was like a hurricane and then it was raining, and it was sunny again.

“The weather was indifferent to say the least.

“But it was good to spend time with each other.

“In a normal week we train together but then the players disperse to their own families or whatever they may do.

“We spent maybe 72 hours together from the Rossington game.

“The new players will benefit from it a lot. It meant the six new lads got to feel involved and part of it.

“I think we’ve got a really good group of players.

“We’ve got the core of a group that could do something really special.

“The players get on with not only each other, but there’s a good bond between the players and the staff as well.

“I’m really excited because I feel we’ve got a core of a really good group.”

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In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.