Doncaster Rovers announced Aidan Barlow had signed a new contract with the club on Monday and there are reports of interest in former Sunderland player Cieran Dunne.
Rovers have made the one signing this summer so far in Harrison Biggins from Fleetwood Town. There are also rumours another club has emerged in the battle to sign Donny striker Joe Dodoo.
Doncaster Rovers Weekly Round-Up: Aidan Barlow Signs New Contract + Interest in Former Sunderland Player
Aidan Barlow Extension
Barlow has signed a one-year extension to his contract at Doncaster Rovers, as the club announced on Monday. The deal includes the option of a further year and sees Barlow extend his stay at the Eco-Power Stadium.
The 22-year-old was signed by former manager Richie Wellens and has been a relative success given his circumstances – he is clearly building towards becoming a better player with this just his first full season in senior football.
Barlow struggled after leaving Manchester United. Doncaster Rovers gave him a chance following a trial and he made 34 appearances in his first season with the club, scoring one goal and assisting another.
He has been trying to find his best position in Doncaster’s set-up and a mid-season change in manager probably wasn’t ideal. Barlow has featured more and more under Gary McSheffrey, though, and appeared to be finding some confidence at the club towards the end of the season.
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What Barlow and McSheffrey Had to Say
Barlow told the club website: “I’m delighted, I got 34 games under my belt last season and it was a big learning curve as my first year in professional football.
“While we hoped for more as a team, I felt like I was developing constantly and picking up things to improve in my game.
“Going into next season I expect a lot more of myself, and I see it as a big chance to show the fans what I can really do.”
Manager Gary McSheffrey added: “We still see Aidy very much as a player with real good potential.
“He came here last summer, it was his breakthrough season in senior football and he got quite a few games under his belt.
“Had he had a bit more luck and a bit more quality at times, the numbers with his end product could have been a lot better. If you see through the numbers, you can see he is a really good prospect.
“We know Aidy brings good quality, he’s technically very good, he trains really well and does the right things.”
Interest in Former Sunderland Player
According to journalist Alan Nixon, as cited by Football League World, Doncaster Rovers are interested in signing Cieran Dunne, who has not been offered a new deal by Sunderland.
Dunne, 22, would not arrive with plenty of experience but seems versatile and able to play anywhere from left-back to left and right midfield. A move would see him reunited with Ollie Younger, whom he partnered in Sunderland’s EFL Trophy loss to Oldham Athletic – one of two senior appearances for the Black Cats. Dunne played left wing-back in that game.
Before Sunderland, Dunne played in Scotland with Falkirk, providing one assist in eight games.
— Falkirk FC (@FalkirkFC) February 8, 2018
If Dunne is to continue in a more defensive role that could be handy for Rovers, who have released Branden Horton and Cameron John as well as losing Ben Jackson, who was on loan at the Eco-Power Stadium, back to Huddersfield Town.
Another Club Named in Pursuit of Rovers Striker Joe Dodoo
National League side Notts County have joined Walsall with interest in Rovers striker Joe Dodoo, according to Alan Nixon, as cited by Football League World.
Dodoo scored eight goals in 39 games for Doncaster last season, who failed in pursuit of their main striker targets and settled for the then-free agent.
As covered last week, Gary McSheffrey’s side are said to be open to selling the Ghanaian forward should they be able to sign a replacement.
Michelle Walsh Retires
Meanwhile, ex-Doncaster Rovers Belles midfielder Michelle Walsh retired from football at the age of 39. Walsh made over 40 appearances for Republic of Ireland and had a successful spell in Doncaster.
Walsh said, as quoted by SheKicks: “It was very emotional but I’m incredibly grateful for the footballing career and opportunities I’ve had.”
She went out on a high, lifting the County League Premier Division trophy as captain of Yorkshire Amateur.
Walsh continued: “That was always the end goal – to end the season with a trophy in my hand.
“To be able to bow out with a trophy makes me feel like I’m leaving on my own terms as I can bow out gracefully.”