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by Paul Williams

Are footballers more transient nowadays – or do we simply have a lot of Rovers’ cast-offs still plying their trade in the Football League? We seem to come up against an ex-player every week somewhere and it’s the turn of former loanee Michael Ingham at York this Tuesday. The goalkeeper was only on the bench for Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Cambridge, however.

The Minstermen are managed, of course, by former Rovers favourite Russ Wilcox but many of City’s fans aren’t exactly enamoured with the boss at the minute. The York team also includes John McCombe, younger sibling of ‘Boom-Boom’ Jamie, though that link is so tenuous that it’s barely worth mentioning. You could also include Emile Sinclair in a list of ex-Rovers at York but to describe the one-time Peterborough striker as a former player is stretching truth to the maximum – I don’t think I’ve ever seen a footballer more keen to conserve energy than Emile!

Luke McCullough has been called up by Northern Ireland so won’t play at Bootham Crescent, where Rovers won a Capital One Cup tie last season thanks to a late goal from Harry Forrester. The latter could be one of several changes made by Rob Jones in what could The Corporal’s last game in charge as the JPT doesn’t capture anybody’s imagination until the Wembley Arch is in sight. Paul McKay, Liam Mandeville and Harry Middleton could also get a start, along with Paul Keegan and Cameron Stewart.

It would be nice to get a winning run going and kudos to all those heading up the A19 to support the boys but don’t forget that terrace behind the goal can be a miserable place when the weather is unpleasant so wrap up warm.
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Belle Vue Bar has undergone a ‘makeover’ ahead of today's local derby against Barnsley.

With the news that Doncaster Rovers old ground Belle Vue was to be knocked down and rebuilt on, the VSC felt it was right to commemorate the ground at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Rovers fans from the Viking Chat forum have kindly donated money to cover the cost of the new wall displays in the bar.

VSC Director Rob Williams commented, "We wanted to make the Belle Vue Bar feel a bit more like home, which Belle Vue was for many Rovers fans for many years. The club gave us this great opportunity and VSC members and forums users have once again put their hands in their pockets and we think the walls look fantastic!".

VSC Secretary Martin O’Hara added, “With Belle Vue being built on, it’s important that we remember it. It’s a memorable place to so many Rovers fans and where better to remember it than the Belle Vue Bar.
“The bar was renamed by the supporters and now it’s being decorated by the supporters as well. There will be a plaque with everyone’s name on who has contributed.”

Situated in the West Stand, the Belle Vue Bar welcomes all supporters from home and away clubs with Sky Sports shown on the TV screens prior to kick off and after the match.

If you're going to the match today make sure to pop in and have a look. We are still accepting donations for this project; click here for details on how to donate.

(Thanks go to Steve Uttley and Mike Floate for the images)

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by Paul Williams

Us and Barnsley have more in common than we’d like to admit. Our industry and economy has been decimated over the last 30 years but we still delight in taking every opportunity to poke fun at our respective stereotypes and this is a proper local derby, unlike those sham ones against the mighty Sheffield clubs.

No doubt the coal carts will be clogging up the road between Dingle Dell and the Keepmoat again this Saturday. Barnsley fans reckon there will be 3,000 supporters in the North Stand, though when you’re all out of fingers and toes at 24 it’s hard to say how accurate that estimate will be.

What we don’t like is Tommy Tyke and his chums getting all uppity because they happen to be higher than us in the league at present - pride before a fall and all that! They think they’ve stolen a gem from us in the shape of Reece Wabara (who ironically refused a new contract in the summer as he wanted to play at a higher level, though I suppose Barnsley is more elevated than Doncaster in geographical terms).

Paul Dickov once described Wabara as a superb athlete – unfortunately he just seems to suffer from occasional memory losses during which, for 90 minutes, he forgets he’s a footballer.

The form book suggests we might struggle to give the Tykes their annual beating this time but our near-neighbours are still a work in progress themselves and due a bad one after beating high-flying Gillingham last Saturday.

Things are slowly improving under Rob Jones and, though the big man will be back on the touchline again this weekend, we could have some joy if we can get Keshi Anderson on the ball enough to force Barnsley backwards and we all know Copps loves playing against this lot more than anyone else.  
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