Andrew Davies (footballer)
Andrew John Davies is an English professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Dundee. Signing with Middlesbrough as a 13-year-old, Davies has played for 11 clubs at a variety of levels, he was loaned to Queens Park Rangers, Derby County and Southampton, signing with the latter after leaving Middlesbrough. Davies played for Stoke City, Preston North End, Sheffield United, Middlesbrough for a second time, Crystal Palace and Bradford City. In 2015, he moved to Scotland. Davies helped County win the 2015–16 Scottish League Cup, but left the club after they were relegated in 2018. Davies represented England in youth internationals, was capped once by the under-21 team. Davies was born in Stockton-on-Tees and attended Northfield School in Billingham, near Middlesbrough, he joined Middlesbrough as a thirteen-year-old, moving up the club ranks as a member of the reserve side. Davies turned professional in October 2002 after impressing in the under-19s and as captain of the reserve team, he made his debut on 6 November 2002, in a League Cup defeat against Ipswich Town.
His Premier League debut came three months in a 5–2 defeat at home to Aston Villa. He made nine further appearances during the 2003–04 season before suffering a broken leg in a reserve league game in March 2004. Despite this, Davies was named 2003–04 Middlesbrough Players' Young Player of the Year, he made his first team return from injury against Coventry City in the League Cup on 27 October 2004. He made two appearances in the first half of the 2004–05 season before joining Queens Park Rangers on an initial one month's loan in January to gain some first team experience remaining there for three months. Davies turned down a permanent move to the club. Following an injury crisis, he was recalled by Middlesbrough in April 2005. In July 2005, Davies was loaned out again, to Derby County until the end of the 2005–06 season with the deal including a clause that allowed him to be recalled by his parent club in January; this was for a period of six months, although it was extended to a full season's loan.
Davies made his Derby County debut in the opening game of the season, playing the full 90 minutes, in a 1–1 draw against Brighton & Hove Albion. His first goal came on 18 September 2005, in a 2–2 draw against Southampton. Three months on 3 December 2005, Davies scored twice, in a 2–0 win over Norwich City. In January 2006, an injury crisis at Middlesbrough prompted them to recall Davies, who had impressed during his time at Derby, despite being sent off on three occasions. On his return to the Riverside Stadium, Davies played a significant role in Middlesbrough's journey to the semi finals of the FA Cup and final of the UEFA Cup. With Gareth Southgate committing to youth in 2006–07, Davies found his way into the first team and made 23 appearances in all. Davies signed for Southampton on 9 October 2007, on an initial three-month loan with a view to a permanent transfer in January, it took until 3 November 2007 for Davies to make his Southampton debut, coming on as a substitute for Grégory Vignal in the 72nd minute, in a 1–0 loss against Charlton Athletic.
On 10 January 2008, the signing was made permanent, for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £1 million. He missed the last few matches of the 2007–08 season as a result of a fractured cheek bone incurred in March 2008. Despite only playing for half a season, he was voted the Saints Player of the Season. Ahead of the 2008–09 season, Davies said he was close to making a return to full first team training and was expecting to return in three to four weeks. In August 2008, Stoke City manager Tony Pulis told BBC Radio Stoke that Southampton had accepted a £1.3 million bid for Davies, with the club having to cut their wage bill. The move was completed on 19 August 2008, as he signed for newly promoted Stoke for an undisclosed fee, signing a four-year contract. However, Davies' start at Stoke didn't go as planned after suffering a knee injury in training, resulting in him requiring an operation. In late-November, Davies played in the reserve side, he did not feature for the first team until the beginning of December 2008, when he made several appearances on the bench with his first being an away game against Newcastle United.
Davies made his Stoke debut against Manchester United, coming on as a substitute for Rory Delap in the 72nd minute on Boxing Day 2008, playing at right back after Andy Wilkinson had been sent off for a second bookable offence. He made another substitute appearance on 28 December 2008, against West Ham. Davies made his first start against Hartlepool United in the FA Cup third Round which ended in a shock 2–0 victory for the League One side. During the match, he sustained an injury in the 71st minute. Davies played no further part in Stoke's 2008–09 campaign. On 13 February 2009, Davies signed for Preston North End on a one-month emergency loan, he made his debut the next day, playing 90 minutes, in a 1–0 win over Norwich City. After making five appearance for Preston, Davies returned to his parent club. Having failed to make the bench for Stoke at the start of the 2009–10 season, Davies joined Sheffield United on a three-month loan in September 2009. On the same day, he made his debut, in the Steel City derby, playing 90 minutes, in a 3–2 win over Sheffield Wednesday.
With his loan expiring in December, Davies returned to Stoke having played eight times for "The Blades". After being left out of Stoke's 25-man squad for the 2010–11 season, Davies joined Walsall for an initial month's loan on 6 October 2010, he made his Walsall debut in a 2 -- -1 win over Exeter City. However, Davies suffered a thigh injury during
Ross County F.C.
Ross County Football Club is a Scottish professional football club based in Dingwall, Highland. They play; the club play in the Scottish Championship, after being relegated from the Scottish Premiership in the 2017–18 season. Prior to the 1994–95 season they played in the Highland Football League, a competition they won three times, they have won the Scottish First Division, Second Division, Third Division and Challenge Cup three times. In 2010, they reached the Scottish Cup Final and in 2016, they won the Scottish League Cup. Nicknamed The Staggies, County's colours are dark blue and white; the club was formed in 1929 after the previous local clubs from the North Caledonian Football League, Dingwall Victoria United and Dingwall Thistle applied for Highland Football League membership. The club was subsequently renamed Ross County. Playing in the Highland League from 1929, they won the championship on three occasions, first in 1967 in 1991 and 1992, they gained a reputation for their good performances in the early rounds of the Scottish Cup, upsetting league teams on eight occasions.
The most notable of these upsets came on 8 January 1994, when they won 4–0 at Forfar Athletic, were elected to the Scottish Football League three days later. At the beginning of season 1994–95 the Scottish Football League was restructured into four tiers, following a vote on 11 January 1994, County were allocated one of the two vacancies in the new 10-club Division Three. County gathered 57 votes, they were joined by a new club, formed as a result of the proposed merger to form Inverness Caledonian Thistle, having amassed 68 votes. In 1998–99 Ross County were crowned Champions of the Third Division and thereby won promotion to the Second Division, where they finished in third place; this resulted in promotion to the First Division thanks to a reorganisation of the League, with the Premier League being expanded from ten clubs to twelve. After seven seasons in the First Division Ross County were relegated back to the Second Division in 2006–07, they won the Second Division in 2007–08, were promoted back to the First Division.
Ross County finished their first season back in the First Division in 8th place. Their manager for a short spell until October 2005, was former Inverness and Hearts manager John Robertson, he left the club on 24 October 2005, due to differences of opinion on a number of fundamental issues with the chairman. Gardner Spiers, a former Aberdeen coach, was appointed caretaker manager, but he too left in April 2006 after being told he would not be considered for appointment on a permanent basis. Director of Football George Adams took temporary charge before former Motherwell player Scott Leitch was appointed on 18 April 2006. Ross County won their first nationwide trophy when they won the Scottish Challenge Cup in November 2006 on penalties with Jason Crooks scoring the deciding spot kick on his competitive debut. Leitch, after winning the Challenge Cup but suffering relegation, stood down at the end of the 2006–07 season exactly one year after his appointment. Former Partick Thistle manager Dick Campbell was announced as his replacement in May 2007.
However, after a good run of results to start their Division 2 campaign and the Ross County board decided to part company on 2 October 2007. Derek Adams took over as caretaker, was confirmed as permanent manager a month after the side's good form continued. County again reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup in 2008, they played Airdrie United at McDiarmid Park. Unlike two years County lost in a penalty shootout where four penalties were missed. Ross County reached the Challenge Cup final on April 2011 in which they beat Queen of the South 2–0. In November 2010 Derek Adams left to become Colin Calderwood's assistant at Hibernian. Former Celtic player Willie McStay was appointed as his replacement in November 2010. McStay's tenure was short – lasting only 9 games. Jimmy Calderwood was appointed until the end of the 2010–11 season. In May 2011, it was announced. On 23 March 2010, they defeated Scottish Premier League club Hibernian 2–1 in a Scottish Cup quarter-final replay at home at Victoria Park.
In the semi-final, they played Celtic on Saturday 10 April 2010. In a match described as "one of the most astonishing afternoons the national stadium has witnessed", Ross County won 2–0 at Hampden Park and reached the final of the Scottish Cup for the first time in their history. More than 7,000 Ross County fans travelled to Glasgow to watch the game. In the 2010 Scottish Cup Final on 15 May 2010, County lost 0–3 to Dundee United at Hampden Park; the match was watched by more than 17,000 Ross County fans. Ross County secured promotion to the Scottish Premier League on 10 April 2012 when their nearest rival to the title Dundee failed to beat Queen of the South. During this push to promotion, Ross County embarked on a 40-game undefeated run in league football, which continued into the Scottish Premier League; the run was ended by St Johnstone on 22 September 2012. The Staggies parted company with George and Derek Adams on 28 August 2014 following a poor start to the 2014–15 campaign. Jim McIntyre was appointed manager on 9 September 2014, with Billy Dodds as his assistant.
On 13 March 2016, Ross County won their first major trophy when they beat Hibernian 2–1 in the final of the 2015–16 Scottish League Cup. The team's fortunes declined after this success, they were relegated at the end of the 2017–18 season, their main rivals are fellow Highlanders, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, with whom they contest the Highland derby. This, unlike many riva
The EFL Cup known as the Carabao Cup for sponsorship reasons, is an annual knockout football competition in men's domestic English football. Organised by the English Football League, it is open to any club within the top four levels of the English football league system – 92 clubs in total – comprising the top level Premier League, the three divisions of the English Football League's own league competition. First held in 1960–61 as the Football League Cup, it is one of the three top-tier domestic football competitions in England, alongside the Premier League and FA Cup, it concludes in February, long before the other two. It was introduced by the league as a response to the increasing popularity of European football, to exert power over the FA, it took advantage of the roll-out of floodlights, allowing the fixtures to be played as midweek evening games. With the renaming of the Football League as the English Football League in 2016, the tournament was rebranded as the EFL Cup for the 2016–17 season.
The tournament is played with single leg ties throughout, except the semi-finals. The final is held at Wembley Stadium. Entrants are seeded in the early rounds, a system of byes based on league level ensures higher ranked teams enter in rounds, to defer the entry of teams still involved in Europe. Winners receive the EFL Cup, of which there have been three designs, the current one being the original. Winners qualify for European football, receiving a place in the UEFA Europa League; the current holders are Manchester City, who beat Chelsea 4–3 on penalties in the 2019 final to win their sixth League Cup. Although the League Cup is one of the four domestic trophies attainable by English league teams, it is perceived as being of lower prestige than the league championship or the FA Cup. League Cup winners receive £100,000 prize money with the runners-up receiving £50,000, considered insignificant to top-flight teams, compared to the £2 million prize money of the FA Cup, in turn eclipsed by the Premier League's television money and consequent participation in the Champions League.
Some clubs have fielded a weaker side in the competition, making the opportunity for giant-killing of the larger clubs more likely. Many teams in the Premier League and Manchester United in particular, have used the competition to give young players valuable big-game experience. However, in 2010, in response to Arsène Wenger's claim that a League Cup win would not end his trophy drought, Alex Ferguson described the trophy as "a pot worth winning"; the original idea for a League Cup came from Stanley Rous who saw the competition as a consolation for clubs, knocked out of the FA Cup. However it was not Rous. Hardaker proposed the competition as a way for the clubs to make up on lost revenue, due to a reduction in matches played, for when the league was to be re-organised; the re-organisation of the league was not forthcoming. The trophy was paid for by Football League President Joe Richards, proud of the competition and he had his own name engraved on it. Richards described the competition's formation as an'interim step' on the way to the league's re-organisation.
Richards' priority was the re-organisation of the leagues. Hardaker felt that the Football League needed to adapt to the times, as the English game was losing prestige, he felt that the Football League should take the lead in revitalising football in the nation: "It must be obvious to all of you that the time has come to do something, it is up to the Football League to give the lead. I hope the Press will not assume that the League is going to fall out with the F. A. or anybody else... the time has come for our voice to be heard in every problem which affects the professional game."The League Cup competition was established at a time when match day attendances were dwindling. The league had lost one million spectators compared to the previous season, it was established at a time when tensions between the Football League and the Football Association were high. The biggest disagreement was about. During the late 1950s, the majority of senior English clubs equipped their grounds with floodlights.
This opened up the opportunity to exploit weekday evenings throughout the winter. The League Cup was introduced in the 1960–61 season as a mid-week floodlit tournament, to replace the Southern Professional Floodlit Cup; the League Cup was criticised by the better-endowed clubs. The Times' correspondent at the time felt; the Times published on 30 May 1960: "Where a drastic reduction is required in an attempt to raise quality, no doubt quantity and a further spread of mediocrity
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are positioned on the field between their team's defenders and forwards; some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being more mobile and efficient in passing: they are referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box, or holding midfielders; the number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the team's formation. Most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing team's attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who travel the greatest distance during a match; because midfielders arguably have the most possession during a game they are among the fittest players on the pitch. Central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided equally between attack and defence and to dominate the play around the centre of the pitch.
These players will try to pass the ball to the team's attacking midfielders and forwards and may help their team's attacks by making runs into the opposition's penalty area and attempting shots on goal themselves. When the opposing team has the ball, a central midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward and press the opposition ball-carrier to recover the ball. A centre midfielder defending their goal will move in front of their centre-backs in order to block long shots by the opposition and track opposition midfielders making runs towards the goal; the 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders. The 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder; the term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who are hard-working and who have good all-round abilities, which makes them skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can therefore track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots and run to the opponents' box to try to score.
The change of trends and the deviation from the standard 4–4–2 formation to the 4–2–3–1 formation imposed restrictions on the typical box-to-box midfielders of the 80s, as teams' two midfield roles were now divided into "holders" or "creators". Notable examples of box-to-box midfielders are Bastian Schweinsteiger, Yaya Touré, Radja Nainggolan. Left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch, they may be asked to cross the ball into the opponents' penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates, when defending they may put pressure on opponents who are trying to cross. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1 and the 4−5−1 formations. Jonathan Wilson describes the development of the 4−4−2 formation: "…the winger became a wide midfielder, a shuttler, somebody who might be expected to cross a ball but was meant to put in a defensive shift."
Notable examples of wide midfielders are Ryan Giggs. The historic position of wing-half was given to midfielders, it became obsolete as wide players with defensive duties have tended to become more a part of the defence as full-backs. Defensive midfielders are midfield players; these players may defend a zone in front of their team's defence, or man mark specific opposition attackers. Defensive midfielders may move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude: "The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someone's position, great." A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of opponent's play, tackling, interceptions and great stamina and strength. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their team's defence, while other midfielders may move forward to attack; the holding midfielder may have responsibilities when their team has the ball.
This player will make short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the team's strategy. Marcelo Bielsa is considered as a pioneer for the use of a holding midfielder in defence; this position may be seen in the 4 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 4 -- 2 diamond formations. A defensive midfielder, or "destroyer", a playmaker, or "creator", were fielded alongside each other as a team's two holding central midfielders; the destroyer was responsible for making tackles, regaining possession, distributing the ball to the creator, while the creator was responsible for retaining possession and keeping the ball moving with long passes out to the flanks, in the manner of a more old-fashioned deep-lying playmaker or "regista". Early examples of a destroyer are Nobby Stiles, Herbert Wimmer, Marco Tardelli, while examples include Claude Makélélé and Javier Mascherano, although several of these players possessed qualities of other types of midfielders, were therefore not confined to a single role.
Early examples of a creator would be Gérson, Glenn Hoddle, Sunday Oliseh, while more recent examples Xabi Alonso, Michael Carrick. The latest and third type of holding midfielder developed as a box-to-box midfielder, or "carrier", neither destructive nor creative, capable of winning b
Derby County F.C.
Derby County Football Club is a professional association football club based in Derby, England. The club competes in the EFL Championship, the second tier of English football, has played its home matches at Pride Park Stadium since 1997. Notable for being one of the 12 founder members of the Football League in 1888, Derby County is one of only 10 clubs to have competed in every season of the English football league system and, in 2009, was ranked 137th in the top 200 European football teams of the 20th century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics; the club was founded in 1884 as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club. Its competitive peak came in the 1970s when it twice won the First Division and competed in major European competitions on four separate occasions, reaching the European Cup semi-finals as well as winning several minor trophies. Additionally, the club was a strong force in the interwar years, winning the 1945–46 FA Cup; the club's home colours have been white since the 1890s.
The team gets its nickname, The Rams, to show tribute to its links with the First Regiment of Derby Militia, which took a ram as its mascot. Additionally adopting the song "The Derby Ram" as its regimental song. Derby County F. C. was formed in 1884 as an offshoot of Derbyshire County Cricket Club in an attempt to give players and supporters a winter interest as well as secure the cricket club extra revenue. The original intention was to name the club "Derbyshire County F. C." to highlight the link, though the Derbyshire FA, formed in 1883, objected on the grounds it was too long and therefore would not have been understood by the fans who may mistake it for a Derbyshire FA team. Playing their home matches at the cricket club's Racecourse Ground, 1884–85 saw the club undertake an extensive programme of friendly matches, the first of, a 6–0 defeat to Great Lever on 13 September 1884; the club’s first competitive match came in the 1885 FA Cup, where they lost 7–0 at home to Walsall Town. Arguably the most important match in the club's history came in the following season's FA Cup, when a 2–0 victory over Aston Villa an emerging force in English football, helped establish Derby County on the English football map, helping the club to attract better opposition for friendlies and, in 1888, an invitation into the inaugural Football League.
The opening day of the first league season was 8 September 1888, when Derby came from 3–0 down away to Bolton Wanderers to win 6–3, though the club finished 10th out of 12 teams. In 1891, they absorbed another Derby club, Derby Midland, a member of the Midland League, leaving them as Derby's sole professional football club. Steve Bloomer considered to be Derby County's best-ever player, joined the club in 1892. In 1895, the club moved to a new stadium, the Baseball Ground, which became their home for the next 102 years, it was that the club adopted their now traditional home colours of black and white. Although Derby were inconsistent in the league, they finished as runners-up to Aston Villa in 1896, as well as achieved a number of third-place finishes, they were a strong force in the FA Cup, appearing in three finals in six years around the turn of the 20th century, though lost all three, in 1898, 1899 and 1903. In 1906, Steve Bloomer was sold to Middlesbrough due to financial constraints, Derby subsequently suffered its first relegation the following season, but under Jimmy Methven's management, they re-signed Bloomer and regained their First Division place in 1911.
In 1914, they were again relegated, but won the Second Division to earn promotion, though World War I meant they had to wait until 1919 to play First Division football again. After two seasons, they were relegated yet again in 1921. However, the appointment of George Jobey in 1925 kick-started a successful period for the Rams and, after promotion in 1926, the club became a formidable force, with high finishes from the late 1920s and all through the 1930s, including finishing as runners-up twice. Derby were one of several clubs to close down after the outbreak of World War II but restarted in the early 1940s, in part due to the persistence of Jack Nicholas and Jack Webb. Aided by the recruitment of Raich Carter and Peter Doherty, who had both been stationed in Loughborough during the war, Derby were one step ahead of the opposition when competitive football resumed with the 1946 FA Cup and won their first major trophy with a 4–1 victory over Charlton Athletic; the league restarted the following season after a break due to World War II and, under the management of Stuart McMillan, as well as twice breaking the British transfer record to sign Billy Steel and Johnny Morris to replace Carter and Doherty, finished fourth and third in the 1948 and 1949 seasons before a steady decline set in and the club was relegated in 1953, after nearly 30 years in the top flight, again in 1955 to drop to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history.
Harry Storer led Derby back into the second tier at the second attempt in 1957, though the club progressed no further over the next decade under either Storer or his successor, former Derby player Tim Ward. In 1967, Brian Clough and Peter Taylor led them to their greatest glory. Having clinched the influential signing of Dave Mackay, Derby were promoted to the First Division in 1969, finished fourth in 1970, were banned from competing in Europe due to financial irregularities in 1971 and won their first Football League Championship in 1972. Though Derby
Doncaster Rovers F.C.
Doncaster Rovers Football Club is a professional association football club based in the town of Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England. The team competes in League One, the third tier of the English football league system, after promotion from League Two in 2016–17; the club was founded in 1879 and turned professional in 1885. Doncaster have spent the majority of their playing history between the third and fourth tiers of the English football league system and are one of four clubs to win the Division 4/Division 3/League Two title three times; the club's colours have traditionally been white. Their home strip is red and white hoops, the main design of the club's home shirt since 2001; the associated Doncaster Rovers Belles L. F. C. are one of the most successful women's clubs in English football. The club was formed in 1879 by Albert Jenkins, a fitter at Doncaster's Great Northern Railway works, he gathered together some friends to play a match against the Yorkshire Institute for the Deaf and Dumb in September 1879.
Jenkins’ side took a 4–0 lead but the game ended as a 4–4 draw. On walking back from the game, the team took a rest at the Hall Cross, had a discussion in which they decided to play more and called themselves Doncaster Rovers; the first match under the name was on 3 October 1879, a draw away against Rawmarsh. They became the main team in the town, appear to have had their first professional players in 1887–88. Rovers first entered the FA Cup in 1888–89, losing 9–1 to Rotherham Town at home. Season 1890–91 was to be a significant move forward; the club came second. The following season, saw them enter the Sheffield and Hallamshire FA Challenge Cup, beating Sheffield United 2–1 at Bramall Lane to win the final; that same season, they moved up to the Midland League, becoming Champions in 1896–97 and 1898–99. They were first elected to the Football League as a replacement for New Brighton Tower, their first season in the League was in fact the one when Doncaster achieved their highest position ever.
They only lasted two seasons in the league before being voted out in favour of local rivals Bradford City, having finished the 1902 season in the bottom three. They spent the following season in the Midland League, only managing 11th place out of 18 but were elected back to Division 2; this time, in 1904–05, Doncaster finished bottom with W3 D2 L29, adrift by 12 points, gaining only 8 points – an unfortunate still standing record. They were voted out once again; the following several seasons saw them finish lower midtable of the Midland League, till between 1910 and 1913 they had greater success. The last few years before the war mediocrity returned, in August 1914 debts run up over the years led to voluntary liquidation. However, a new club was formed in time for the 1914–15 season and was accepted into the Midland League to continue where the old club had left off; the outbreak of the First World War meant the club closed down, the army took over its ground using it as a depot. The Club reformed as a limited company after the war in 1919, rejoining the Midland League a year playing at their new temporary Bennetthorpe Ground.
The first two seasons Rovers finished lower-mid table. The third season they moved to Belle Vue, finished runners up and were accepted into the Football League Division 3 North for 1923–24 to replace Stalybridge Celtic; the first match back in the Football League was a 0–0 draw against Wigan Borough at Belle Vue on 25 August 1923, with Rovers playing in red tops with white shorts. One of the players in that first match was Rovers legend Tom Keetley who went on to become the Club's highest scorer with 186 goals in 241 appearances. Doncaster ended the season in 9th place; the next few seasons saw them rise towards the top of the table decline towards the bottom, before in the early 1930s finishing near the top and becoming Champions in 1934–35. Rovers spent two seasons in Division 2, relegated in 1936–37. However, they did well in the following two seasons before the outbreak of war, being runners up in Division 3 North, with only the champions being promoted at that time. Doncaster Rovers were involved in the longest competitive football match, against Stockport County at Edgeley Park on 30 March 1946, in a Division Three cup tie.
The match was deadlocked at 2–2 at 90 minutes, after two 10-minute periods of extra time there was no further score. The rule at that time was. However, after 203 minutes, with darkness closing in, the game was stopped. Fans were said to have left the game, gone home for their tea, come back to watch the end of the game; the replay, at Doncaster, was won by Rovers 4–0, goals coming from Steven Bain, Billy Mortimer and a late double from Graeme Dunne. In 1946–47 Doncaster set a record for the most games won in a league season, when they won the Third Division North title; the following season saw them relegated from the Second Division, but two years with Peter Doherty as player-manager, they won the Third Division North again. This time they stayed in the Second Division for eight seasons, their most successful period to date. During this time, several high class players were with Doncaster including Harry Gregg who kept goal, was sold to Manchester United in December 1957 for £23,500. At the time, he was the most expensive goalkeeper in the world.
He went on to help save lives in the Munich air disaster and was a regular goalkeeper for Northern Ireland. Another player, lesser known outside Doncaster, was Alick Jeffrey. Matt Busby, manager of Manchester United, had lined him up to be bought, however in October 1956 Jeffrey badly broke his leg playing fo
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders: centre-back, full-back, wing-back; the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations. A centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, tries to prevent opposing players centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, intercepting passes, contesting headers and marking forwards to discourage the opposing team from passing to them. With the ball, centre-backs are expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defender's goal. Due to the many skills centre-backs are required to possess in the modern game, many successful contemporary central-defensive partnerships have involved pairing a more physical defender with a defender, quicker, more comfortable in possession and capable of playing the ball out from the back.
During normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. However, when their team takes a corner kick or other set pieces, centre-backs may move forward to the opponents' penalty area. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions; some centre-backs have been known for their direct free kicks and powerful shots from distance. Brazilian defenders David Luiz and Naldo have been known for using the cannonball free kick method, which relies more on power than placement. In the modern game, most teams employ three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper; the 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs. There are two main defensive strategies used by centre-backs: the zonal defence, where each centre-back covers a specific area of the pitch; the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who "sweeps up" the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is rather more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents.
Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as libero. Though sweepers may be expected to build counter-attacking moves, as such require better ball control and passing ability than typical centre-backs, their talents are confined to the defensive realm. For example, the catenaccio system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s, employed a purely defensive sweeper who only "roamed" around the back line; the more modern libero possesses the defensive qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become more popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack; this variation on the position requires great fitness. While seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack; some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles.
If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery and run back into their position. In modern football, its usage has been restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position; the position is most believed to have been pioneered by Franz Beckenbauer, Gaetano Scirea, Elías Figueroa, although they were not the first players to play this position. Earlier proponents included Alexandru Apolzan, Ivano Blason, Velibor Vasović, Ján Popluhár. Other defenders who have been described as sweepers include Bobby Moore, Franco Baresi, Ronald Koeman, Fernando Hierro, Matthias Sammer, Aldair, due to their ball skills and long passing ability. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a respected and demanding position. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greece's manager, during UEFA Euro 2004. Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greece's sweeper to great success, as Greece became European champions.
Although this position has become obsolete in modern football formations, due to the use of zonal marking and the offside trap, certain players such as Daniele De Rossi:, Leonardo Bonucci, Javi Martínez and David Luiz have played a similar role as a ball-playing central defender in a 3–5–2 or 3–4–3 formation. Some goalkeepers, who are comfortable leaving their goalmouth to intercept and clear through balls, who participate more in play, such as René Higuita, Manuel Neuer, Edwin van der Sar, Fabien Barthez, Hugo Lloris, among others, have been referred to as sweep