Should Dons move to Castle Park?

Dons' chief executive Carl Hall in the stands. Picture: Andrew Roe
Dons' chief executive Carl Hall in the stands. Picture: Andrew Roe

WHEN it comes to taking rugby into the community, the Dons are a shining example to their RFL rivals, writes Paul Goodwin.

But Carl Hall (pictured) and the club’s board need to find a new way of bringing the community to them - because Tony Miller’s team deserve to be playing in front of much bigger crowds than they do.

Inviting every school child in Doncaster to attend the final home game of the season for free is certainly a step in the right direction.

It’s a fantastic initiative - and something I believe should be rolled out on a regular basis not just by the Dons, but by their Knights and Belles counterparts.

But how many of those kids will return, with five months separating the free ticket game and start of the new season?

You just get the feeling it needs something even more ground-breaking - in every sense of the word - to generate more interest in the town’s third tier team.

And the club should be considering all available options.

Dons’ community team were recently honoured at the Doncaster Sports Awards for the sterling work they do in schools and across the borough promoting rugby league.

Much of their brilliant work goes unreported - but whatever they do it never seems to make an ha’porth of difference to match day attendances.

When it comes to game day at the Keepmoat Stadium it’s the same old faces who turn up week in, week out.

Six hundred people inside a 15,000 arena makes for a feeble atmosphere - despite the best efforts of the Dons contingent.

And if Castle Park is an option for the club, as has been rumoured in the past, it’s one that should be looked at very closely.

Personally, I’d like to see the Dons remain based at the Keepmoat.

It’s a first class venue which inspires players and attracts talent from elsewhere.

But why not play half of the games at Castle Park?

It’s another first class venue, it’s more suited to the Dons’ needs, and it could potentially spark some sort of link between Doncaster’s league and union outfits.

Further to that, why not take a team to play at Doncaster Toll Bar or Bentley in pre-season?

Try another game at Stainforth dog track?

Try everything to take rugby league back into the community of Doncaster.

Full credit to Hall and his backroom team.

They’ve done a sensational job to stabilise a club that could have easily gone under.

On the pitch Doncaster have a team that play with pride and passion in abundance.

If Hall can get more people watching, then the club could really be going places - and I don’t just mean down the road to Castle Park!