The second part of the question and answer session with manager Paul Dickov and Chief Executive Gavin Baldwin.
Q: What was the major factor in you come to Doncaster Rovers?
PD: It’s a stable environment with good people above me. I’ve got a great relationship with Gavin [Baldwin] and the owners John, Terry and Dick. It gives me a chance to try and build something for the future. The one thing I want to do, regardless of when, how or if I leave here, is leave the club in a better shape than it currently is in. You always have to strive to be better no matter how good something is.
Q: There are rumours that some of our out of contract players are attracting interest from other club, are there any you feel that we may lose?
PD: No, not through the conversations that I have had with them all. There’s always going to be rumours and there’s always going to be certain agents banding out of contract players to other clubs. What I’m trying to do is speak to the players and show them the vision that I have got and where I want to take the club. Every conversation I have had has been positive; there’s not been a negative one yet.
Q: Under Sean O’Driscoll we played some of the best football I have ever seen at this club, are we going to try and play that style of football as much as we can?
PD: That’s how I’d like to do it. In an ideal world you want to go out there every game and play like Barcelona, that’s not always possible but as long as the philosophy is to get the ball down and pass it playing good, quick, attacking football that’s what I want to see.
Q: What is your vision for the club?
PD: The so called smaller clubs that have been promoted to the Championship usually look to consolidate. Clubs like Norwich, Southampton and Leicester a few years ago all got promoted or got to the play-off and we sit here talking about them being an example of how it can be done. I want, in three or four years time, people to say look at Doncaster and start using us as the example rather than us looking at other teams.
Q: Jordan Ball is a player that has been released, is there any chance that he will be able to come back to the club and train so you can asses him?
PD: I wouldn’t rule that out.
Q: What is happening with the goalkeeper situation?
PD: We want a top quality goalkeeper; we are in discussions with one at the minute; realistically and ideally you want someone with experience of playing at a high level.
Q: Would you look to run a similar experiment like the one last time we were in the Championship?
GB: What Paul drummed into us during the interview process was the gap between the first and youth team and building the club for or six years. He has also made me aware that within the playing squad we will have the capacity within the budget to bring in loan players at key times of the season to boost the squad. The whole ethos is that we need a steady team with a steady team spirit that can be added to when we need to.
Loan players will be on the cards but we will probably limit it to around 3 or 4 for the season and then bring others in at a later date at key times.
Q: Are the club’s aspirations in the Championship consolidation or are those aspirations higher than that?
PD: If you constantly go on about a relegation battle, being stuck in the bottom three and finishing fourth from bottom before you know it that is where you will end up. I’m a positive guy, whether that’s stupidity or naivety I don’t know, but I’ve got a really good feeling about next season. Its ok for me to be sitting here and giving you positive answers but I really want to produce; talk is cheap but I know you all will back me. You will see that I’m an honest guy and what I say I will be trying to portray that onto the pitch.
Q: Will Rob Jones remain as captain of the team?
PD: Yes, without a shadow of a doubt. The thing that struck me, looking in from the outside, is that he isn’t just a leader on the pitch but also off the pitch too. Rob has a massive part to play for me as my captain this year.
Q: What is the possibility of keeping Iain Hume?
PD: Humey is a player that I like but he’s on a good contract at Preston. I haven’t spoken to Iain or Preston yet.
Q: What do you make of the set up here at Doncaster Rovers?
PD: I think it’s fantastic. I’ve been speaking to Shaun [Lockwood] at length and this event was one of the first things I wanted to do. I’m not going to be here forever neither is Gavin but the supporters are the ones that will be so it is massively important that you guys know what is going on and get an insight into what we are trying to do as a club.
Q: Will you be willing to go out to the different regions of Doncaster and meet the various supporters groups?
PD: Definitely, I think it is really important to get myself and the players out into the community on a regular basis. We have got to make sure we build a relationship with the community by making these sorts of visit regularly.
Q: Why can’t Development games be played in the athletic stadium at the Keepmoat?
GB: The pitch is owned by Doncaster Athletic Club so it’s not ours. In an ideal scenario we are looking to have double headers. One of the things we are looking at is playing a first team fixture and following it up by playing a Development squad fixture so supporters can stay in the stadium and watch. As a fall back we have got Cantley Park, what we need to do is look what would need to be done at to ensure that it meets the regulations to get into the league.
Q: Any plans to hold an open day?
GB: Yes, Shaun [Lockwood] is looking at dates at the minute and we will be going out on the official website once that has been completed. It was one of the first things that Paul asked for; the team holding an open training session along with all the other activities.
Q: Have you spoken to the Football League regarding fixtures?
GB: Phil Hough, our club secretary, has got an excellent relationship with the Football League and he has absolutely lobbied for three things; to be at home on the opening day, to be at home on Boxing Day and to be at home on the final game of the season. He can’t guarantee that will be the case but they will take it on board. What Phil has done is collated all of the statistics and taken them to the league. Phil was also the one that collated the statistics regarding TV games and presented them before we were awarded two live TV games.
Q: If we can’t play Development games at Cantley Park, have you thought about playing at other clubs around the borough?
GB: Yes, we have already had preliminary discussions with other clubs.
Q: What is the future plans regarding bringing further people in to support the club?
GB: Next year this club makes a profit, we will be one of the few clubs in the country that will, and that is based on additional revenue streams. Our board are committed to giving us monies and have done so as we saw last January. However, my job is to get this club to break even or profit and then that money that they do put in again goes into Paul’s bottom line for his playing budget. What the board have said about the budget that I presented to them is that any cup revenue will again boost the playing budget as will player trading and any additional stadium profit. We can produce a sustainable football club with the opportunities we have got available.