‘The penny has dropped’ - Danny Amos’ journey back to first team level at Doncaster Rovers

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There was no overnight success story for Danny Amos.

The full back ended a 22-month wait for a league start for Doncaster Rovers with his selection against Wycombe Wanderers last weekend.

Amos was handed his league debut by Darren Ferguson in April 2018 as an 18-year-old and started two of the final three matches that season.

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Under Grant McCann, he came off the bench on the opening day of the campaign but did not play another minute in League One that season.

Danny Amos in action for Doncaster Rovers against Wycombe WanderersDanny Amos in action for Doncaster Rovers against Wycombe Wanderers
Danny Amos in action for Doncaster Rovers against Wycombe Wanderers

Whether with Danny Andrew or Reece James, there has been a more experienced player as a roadblock to Amos’ hopes of regular first team football since his promising debut.

On appearances for the U23s or in competitions such as the Leasing.com Trophy, the Sheffield-born defender has regularly caught the eye, particularly with his delivery and set pieces.

It has been a time of patience for Amos, who insists he has kept grounded and looked to the bigger picture.

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“I know I’m a young lad and I know I’m still a U23s player that’s still developing in the group with Gaz McSheffrey, John Schofield and everybody,” he told the Free Press.

“I’ve just got to keep working hard and keep doing the day to day things like going in the gym and doing everything I can do to earn a spot in the first team.

“When you’re called upon you’ve got to do it to the best of your ability.

“Gaz’s job is to make sure we’re ready for the first team and credit to him, he’s done really well so far and that programme is doing really well.”

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McSheffrey is a tough taskmaster as the boss of the U23s, holding nothing back as he tried to prepare the group for senior football.

And while he admits he was a little disappointed in Amos’ progress towards the start of the season, he says things have clicked into place for the Northern Ireland age group international over the last few months.

“I don’t think Danny started the season good enough for me,” McSheffrey said. “But when I look back at pre-season and the game time he had, I think it was a reflection of that.

“We started to get a run of games together for the U23s and his match fitness got better.

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“I think he had a little dip of form in October-November time but since Christmas he’s really grasped it.

“I think he’s been consistently good for seven or eight games on the spin and in the couple of games he’s stepped into the first team before Saturday, he’s earned rave reviews.

“He didn’t look out of place. He’s had an opportunity and he’s grasped it. Hopefully he can get two or three games at it.

“I’m delighted for him. He works hard, he’s a lovely lad.

“The penny has dropped for him a bit I think.

“I think he’s realised the intensity that you have to train at, how reliable you have to be on the ball and just the standards you have to set yourself.

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“Fair play to him because he’s really upped it in every department over the last few months.”

James’ absence through injury presented Amos with an opportunity he grasped and now he is targeting more appearances before the end of the season.

It would be a major surprise if he was to have to wait another 22 months for a league start.

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