Dons: Kelly’s eye on top eight finish

Dons' Mike Kelly in action against Batley.  Picture: Andrew Roe
Dons' Mike Kelly in action against Batley. Picture: Andrew Roe

Dons second-rower Mike Kelly has got his sights on next month’s Championship play-offs.

Tony Miller’s side looked to be facing a battle against relegation at one stage of the season, but a run of good results has catapulted them into play-off contention.

With three of their last four games being at home – the first of which is against lowly Swinton Lions on Sunday - the 24-year-old forward is optimistic about the Dons’ prospects.

With Kelly now being the only Doncaster-born player in Miller’s squad – following the retirement of long-serving duo Dean Colton and Craig Lawton at the end of last season – no-one is more keen to see the Dons finish in the top eight.

“There are no easy games and the four teams we’ve got to play in the run-in have already beaten us this season,” said Kelly.

“But the way we’ve been playing in recent games we’ll take some beating and we are confident going into the game that we can avenge the defeat at Swinton.

“It took us a bit of time to adjust to this division following promotion from Championship One last season.

“But we gained a lot of confidence by winning at such places as Featherstone and Workington, and also picking up losing bonus points during two months without a home game.

“It wasn’t an ideal situation, but because we were picking up good results it kept spirits high.”

The former Doncaster Toll Bar junior played for Hunslet and Gateshead before joining the Dons prior to last season.

He caught Miller’s eye in Gateshead’s two games against the Dons in 2011.

“I was delighted to join Doncaster with it being my hometown club, and I’ve been happy with the way things have gone since I came here,” said Kelly.

“There is a lot of competition in the back-row, so I’m pleased to have played in over 20 games this season.”

He added: “I’m also pleased to have agreed a deal for next season.”