Where Andy Butler sees his future after stint in charge of Doncaster Rovers

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Andy Butler insists he has no plans to end his playing career any time soon despite his foray into management with Doncaster Rovers.

Butler - who is also the manager of the Belles - has assumed charge of the Rovers squad in the absence of manager Darren Moore, who is self isolating along with senior coaches Jamie Smith and Paul Gerrard after coming into contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

The 37-year-old’s spell has seen him take charge of two games, including Tuesday’s defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers U21s in the Papa John’s Trophy, when he also made his first playing appearance of the season.

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And that outing, which saw him tasked with marking Wolves’ record signing, £35million teenager Fabio Silva, only reaffirmed his desire to continue his playing career.

Andy Butler tangles with Wolves' record signing Fabio Silva. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIXAndy Butler tangles with Wolves' record signing Fabio Silva. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX
Andy Butler tangles with Wolves' record signing Fabio Silva. Picture: Andrew Roe/AHPIX

“I enjoy playing football,” he told the Free Press.

“While I do enjoy managing, I still want to play football.

“I still think I’ve got a few years left in me, especially after marking a £35million player.

“It’s good to test yourself against that, even at the young age of 37.

“It’s been a long time coming, this game.

“I’m always ready for whenever anyone needs me and I keep myself fit.

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“My game hasn’t changed. I’m still learning at the tender age of 37 and I’ll always be ready to take a chance.”

The Doncaster-born defender signed a contract with Rovers until January and has previously stated he would move elsewhere in the new year to pursue the final few years of his playing career.

He rejected longer-term deals from further down the English football pyramid as he still believes he is capable of plying his trade at League One level.

Butler admits he did feel some reluctance about playing in Tuesday’s game after being named in the side by Moore due to his managerial duties on the night.

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But he trusted his ability to lead on the pitch, as well as assistant Nick Buxton to guide from the touchline.

He said: “A little bit but the gaffer is in charge and I want to play football as well.

“This was my first game so I’ve got to grasp the chance when it comes.

“Part of you does feel like you should be helping the players from the sidelines but if I can help the players on the pitch it’s just as good.

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“The gaffer keeps speaking to me about having a foot in both camps. Once you cross that white line you’re a leader on the pitch and when you come off it you’re a leader off the pitch. It doesn’t really change.

“You could hear the players in the stands shouting orders to each other. It’s a proper team effort and everyone is willing to give each other advice.

“In the changing room afterwards I spoke to them and I asked their opinions as well.

“It’s a two-way thing. We’re all still learning. We’re still learning off the gaffer and Sivvy [Smith], it’s a good learning environment for us all.”


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. Nancy Fielder, editor.

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