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Henshall talks January recruitment

28 January 2021

Adam Henshall believes that patience is key when recruiting players for Rovers and that’s never been more crucial than in a pandemic where every single penny counts.

January 2021 is the talent identification manager’s third transfer window at the club but one of the most challenging yet as he’s helped to negotiate the arrival of three new faces, a return for Josh Sims and aided the club’s retention of highly-impressive youngster Matt Smith. All of which has taken a lot of communication and planning between the recruitment team.

“I think I speak to the manager more than my wife!” said Henshall.

“We’re constantly in contact with one another and with Gavin Baldwin as well because he’s an important part of the process too. Things are always changing in terms of who is available and who isn’t so it’s important that we stay in contact.

“We get names chucked at us all the time, alongside those that we have identified prior to the window opening. We’re staying in touch with agents, other heads of recruitment and other directors of football to maintain a log of who is available at what time.

“We all know football changes in a 24 hour period so that list is always changing.”

When it comes to recruitment though, Henshall believes that being meticulous helps ensure the club gets the right players who are going to suit the club’s ethos both on and off the field and says that there’s a lot of detail in the work that goes on behind the scenes.

“The most important part is that we don’t rush into anything. We need to make sure that the player is going to suit Doncaster Rovers,” Henshall explained.

“You have to be prepared for every eventuality, but you also have to be careful not to jump into something too soon because you can quickly regret it if someone else becomes available in five days’ time. 

“We try to be meticulous, which Darren is, and every time we have a conversation about a player, there’s usually a period of time where we’ll both go away, assess it and have a think about whether that’s the best player for the football club.

“The most important thing is to get the right player in, if that takes time – it takes time. We won’t be a club that rushes in to a decision when signing a player.”

As well as bringing in new players, Henshall has been working with chief executive Gavin Baldwin to ensure Moore keeps the ones he’s got. The return of Sims was a huge boost to the squad. The winger, who had returned to parent club Southampton at the end of his initial loan deal, re-joined Rovers earlier this week despite Sky Bet Championship interest. Smith too was in a similar situation with clubs in the Championship and abroad making enquiries about the Welsh international.

“When players come in on loan and make the kind of impact that Josh and Matty have, there’s always a risk that their parent clubs might look to pursue other options for their players – whether that be in a higher league or for a better deal financially,” added Henshall.

“Matty has shown what he can do in the first half of the season and it wasn’t a surprise to us that Championship sides had made enquiries about him. The manager was clear that he wanted to keep Matty with us for the rest of the season and Gavin and the board showed they were ready to match those deals from elsewhere to ensure he remains our player which we are grateful for.

“We all wanted both Matty and Josh to remain in Rovers shirts for the rest of the season and they were both clear that they wanted to finish what they both have started here.

"It is great to have these relationships with some of the best teams in the country so that they are happy for their talented players to play for Doncaster Rovers and we thank both parent clubs for their co-operation with both negotiations.”


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