Former Rovers players Tim Ryan and Jan Budtz have been discussing their route from the first-team to the Foundation.
Appearing on the Foundation’s Home Goals podcast, Ryan and Budtz briefly discussed their Rovers careers before talking about their subsequent roles in the Club Doncaster charity arm.
“I came to Donny in 2005 – I’d been playing football for FC Nordsjælland in Denmark. I played in a reserve team game on a Tuesday night and there was a guy called Micky Walker there who was doing some scouting. About a week later I had a phone call from Doncaster Rovers inviting me for a trial,” said Budtz.
“I settled down here, played a few games for Doncaster including in the cup run that most people can remember against City, Aston Villa and Arsenal.
“My background from Denmark was social work. I did a degree in social work before I even contemplated playing amateur football or professional football so I always knew that when the football career came to an end that I would go down that route.”
With Budtz professional career behind him, he received a call from then chief executive Liam Scully who was expanding the Foundation.
“Liam called me in for a chat because they were looking at starting a social inclusion department within the Foundation and they asked if I wanted to be part of it,” he added.
“I said yes, why not and now here we are seven years later and it’s home for me now – the Foundation and the club. I’m very happy here.”
Ryan, who was a team-mate of Budtz’ at the time and was looking for coaching opportunities started his journey with the Foundation soon after.
“After I finished playing, I was always looking to go into the coaching side of it and I got in contact with Club Doncaster and asked if there was any sort of coaching to get my teeth stuck into.
“I started doing some coaching at the Foundation, I did a bit with NCS with Jan and finished up on the college side. I’ve done a lot of the jobs throughout the Foundation and I’ve enjoyed every single one of them.”
Ryan’s success as a player earned him a place in the club’s hall of fame and the defender says he now calls the town home.
“I played nearly 300 games for Doncaster Rovers. I had a couple of spells at the club, the first spell I was 20 and just learning the game, and I came back about 2 and half years later and gained to promotions – getting out of the conference and then league two the year after.
“The second spell when I came to Doncaster, I bought a house, met my girlfriend had kids so it’s obviously home for me now as well.”