What could have been.Over the last few weeks, doncasterroversfc.co.uk has brought to you a review of each of James Coppinger’s seasons in the red and white hoops and how he started out life at Belle Vue under Dave Penney, how he became integral to Sean O’Driscoll’s well oiled machine at the Keepmoat Stadium, how he capped off 18 seconds of football the like of which had never been seen and now how he is on the brink of breaking Colin Douglas’ long standing appearance record.
For each season, please click the relevant link below:
Today, however, we look at his latest campaign.
It was a case of ‘what might have been’ for Coppinger and his Rovers teammates. Not long in to the season and the midfielder was donning the captain’s armband in the absence of injured skipper Rob Jones.
Not that he knew it but Coppinger would also suffer troublesome injuries that interrupted his – and Doncaster’s – season.
It had all started so brightly though with a goal at Fulham in the League Cup showing questions about his longevity were premature. The consolation at Craven Cottage was followed up just days later in the win over Scunthorpe at Glanford Park.
Before December Coppinger had struck four times – a healthy return for the 34 year old who hadn’t always proved to be so prolific – after a sweet volley against Weston super Mare (FA Cup) and a tap in against Crewe in the League.
The pick of the bunch came in January though with Rovers trailing 2-1 to ten-man Oldham. Deep in to injury time and the mercurial talent was at it again as he gathered the ball on the right hand side, shimmied and feigned his way in to the box and curled home low in to the bottom corner with his left foot to salvage a point.
Could it prove to be a turning point in Doncaster’s season? Unfortunately not.
Despite a neat finish a few weeks later against Chesterfield, he only lasted 30 minutes at the Proact Stadium against the Spireites.
The much loved number 26 was to break down once again on his full comeback at Gillingham and his season from thereon in petered out, much like his teams.
Copps will be fully fit and ready for action next season though as he looks to break the Doncaster Rovers appearance record – DO NOT MISS IT – Click below to order your 15/16 Season Ticket NOW!