At 25 years old, ‘Copps’ was about to be thrust forward as the spearhead of a new era – it was very much a case of ‘all change’.Following on from season 1 and season 2 is our latest edition of reviews from James Coppinger’s career at Doncaster Rovers as we count down to his ‘Legends’ game at Keepmoat Stadium on April 19th.
At 25 years old, ‘Copps’ was about to be thrust forward as the spearhead of a new era – it was very much a case of ‘all change’.
While the focus at the outset of the season was locked on the mid-season move from Belle Vue to Keepmoat Stadium, Coppinger was joined in the Rovers squad by Bruce Dyer, Kevin Horlock, James O’Connor, Adam Lockwood and Gareth Roberts as Dave Penney splashed the cash in the hope of taking Rovers to the second tier for the first time in 50 years.
Just one win in the opening five league games of the campaign led to some discontent and Penney was dispensed with.
Sean O’Driscoll, a man relatively unknown to Doncaster fans, was readily appointed and was quick to preach his “performance over results” philosophy.
Rovers eventually picked up and Coppinger often found himself on the right hand side of a four man midfield containing Brian Stock, Paul Green and Jonathan Forte.
At the turn of the year – and the end of the Belle Vue era – Rovers were still competing in the league, FA Cup and Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
The move to Keepmoat Stadium brought a feel good factor to the club – epitomised by how the club were doing in the JPT and over 8,000 fans saw Rovers defeat Darlington 2-0 in the Northern Area semi-final.
There was a 50% increase to that figure when Rovers hosted Crewe Alexandra a month later as O’Driscoll’s side won an astonishing two-legged tie 6-5 on aggregate and would see the club play in a national final for the first time ever.
Coppinger played the whole 120 minutes against Bristol Rovers at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium as the South Yorkshire club ran out 3-2 winners AET.
On a personal note, Coppinger finished the season with five goals to his name, but more crucially, some silverware!
Players from this era including:
will all be in action when Coppinger’s XI take on Louis Tomlinson’s at Keepmoat Stadium on Sunday 19th April 2015 (4pm).
Click below for tickets or call 01302 762576!