FOR James Coppinger, the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy is a competition that he will always be indebted to.
The Doncaster Rovers veteran has good reason to forever remember April 1, 2007 – when he and his team-mates basked in the glow of glory in the competition after a deserved 3-2 success over Bristol Rovers at the Millennium Stadium in front of almost 60,000 fans.
It was Coppinger’s first piece of silverware with Rovers, with a League One play-off final winners’ medal following in 2007-08 and a League One championship one added to his haul in 2012-13.
While he would dearly love to add to his collection – with Rovers starting out on this particular road to Wembley tonight – a bit of a rest also would not go amiss, with the 34-year-old having played every minute of every game so far for the club this term.
But if any team-mates need inspiration ahead of tonight, they only need to have a quick word.
He said: “It was massive for me when we won the Johnstone’s Paint (Trophy) under Sean O’Driscoll. It gave me the inspiration to go and get promoted the season after.
“Playing at Cardiff and winning it and being successful was massive for anybody. Especially when you are younger, so I think for the younger players, it is something to look forward to and get an opportunity in.
“For the likes of me who is nearly 35, it is one of those games where after so many games this month, you are hoping that maybe a rest on the bench could be in order.”
Doncaster boss Paul Dickov, whose side negotiate their seventh game in just 20 days this evening, is likely to freshen up his team, although his options are limited by injuries in his ranks.
But the Scot is mindful that a cup run in the competition could generate both kudos and funds .
Dickov said: “We want to build on our one defeat in seven and make it one in eight (in normal time) and it’s a good chance to get to Wembley. But we are going to have to manage the squad a little bit as well.”
Last six games: Doncaster WDDLLW; Burton WLWWLW.
Referee: R Joyce (Cleveland).
Last time: Doncaster 1 Burton 0; February 22, 2003; Conference.