A Tuesday night double-header is next on the agenda for Derby County as part of their pre-season preparations ahead of the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship season.
With the squad split into two separate sides, the Rams will head to Port Vale and Doncaster Rovers as Gary Rowett aims to drill more match minutes into his players in a more competitive environment.
Two games down, Derby have two wins in the bag after victories over Kidderminster Harriers (4-0) and Macclesfield Town (2-0) and here, dcfc.co.uk puts the microscope on what is up next when they travel to Doncaster.
Our full feature on the trip to Port Vale can be viewed here.
A Moment In History…
Not short of excitement or drama, the last decade in the history of Doncaster Rovers has proven to be particularly notable.
Donny, largely, had spent their years bobbing between the third and fourth tiers of English football since their inception in 1879, but the last 10 years has brought three promotions, three relegations and a place in the second tier for the first time since 1958!
This story actually begins in 2006/07, when Rovers defeated Bristol Rovers to lift the Football League Trophy at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, thanks to a 3-2 after extra time victory.
The success would be backed up with something even bigger the following year.
This time, promotion was the prize as they defeated Leeds United 1-0 in the League 1 Play-Off Final and then consolidated their position in the Championship for the following two years.
After narrowly avoiding relegation in the third season, Doncaster eventually fell through the trap door, returned as champions the following year, were relegated again 12 months later and then dropped in League 2 two seasons after that.
That leads us nicely on to what happened last year.
What Happened Last Season…
In no mood to feel sorry for themselves after falling into the fourth tier for the first time in 2004, Rovers quickly set about restabilising and mounting a promotion charge.
Following some strong work in the transfer market, Doncaster hit the ground running and were promoted, at the first attempt, back to League 1 by early April.
They would have gone up as champions too, but a run of four successive defeats at the end of the season saw Portsmouth nip ahead of them and Plymouth Argyle to claim the title.
You may remember that Derby came up against Rovers in the Checkatrade Trophy group stages last campaign too.
Derby County Under-23s, which also contained the likes of Nick Blackman, James Wilson and Johnny Russell, recorded a 2-2 draw in South Yorkshire, but the hosts ran out 4-2 winners on penalties.
Doncaster Rovers have played at the Keepmoat Stadium since 2007 – a 15,231-capacity stadium and won the award for best matchday experience at the 2010 Stadium Business Awards.
Prior to the Keepmoat Stadium, Rovers played at Belle Vue from 1922 until 2006.
The Rams have played five times at the Keepmoat Stadium over the last 10 years (discounting the Checkatrade Trophy match) and have won three and lost two of those meetings.
Who’s The Boss…
You mention the name Ferguson, and naturally the first person you think of is the great Sir Alex for all that he achieved at Manchester United.
His son, though, is enjoying his own start to life in the dugout.
Darren Ferguson joined Doncaster Rovers on 16th October 2015 following two spells at Peterborough United over seven years and just under a year at Preston North End.
Ferguson had a successful time with the former and won back-to-back promotions to the Championship between 2007 and 2009, whilst he also led them to the League 1 play-offs in 2011.
Whilst he could not save Doncaster from relegation in his first season, they responded in the best possible fashion with an instant return to League 1.
Who To Look Out For…
Without a doubt, the star man behind Doncaster’s promotion last season was John Marquis.
The 25-year-old’s performances saw him named as the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Year, club Player of the Season, and the Doncaster’s Players’ Player of the Year, which he shared with club legend James Coppinger.
Marquis was also named in the League Two Team of The Year and finished the season with the Golden Boot for being the division’s top scorer with 26 goals from 40 league appearances
Marquis began his career at Millwall in 2009 and spent much of his time out on loan at Staines Town, Portsmouth, Torquay United, Northampton Town twice, Cheltenham Town, Gillingham, Leyton Orient and Millwall.
Did You Know…
Doncaster Rovers were involved in the longest ever competitive football match when they faced Stockport County in a Division 3 North Cup match at Edgeley Park on 30th March 1946.
After 90 minutes and 20 minutes of extra time the scores were locked at 2-2.
The rules, at the time, stated the match must continue until a team scored and the game went on for 203 minutes before darkness set in, forcing a replay. In the return at Doncaster, Rovers progressed thanks to a 4-0 win.