Doncaster Rovers Belles unveil ex-Rotherham United and Harrogate Town man as new manager

Doncaster Rovers Belles have unveiled former Rotherham United coach Ciaran Toner as their new manager.

A midfielder in his playing days, Toner represented the likes of Rochdale and Harrogate Town before hanging up his boots.

He accumulated a wealth of coaching experience within Rotherham United’s academy and has now taken on a senior challenge with the Belles.

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Toner said: “The Belles is a historic club,. What I see now is a project of bringing the Belles back to where they belong.

Ciaran Toner has taken charge of Doncaster Rovers Belles. Image: Tony JohnsonCiaran Toner has taken charge of Doncaster Rovers Belles. Image: Tony Johnson
Ciaran Toner has taken charge of Doncaster Rovers Belles. Image: Tony Johnson

“As a Pro License coach, I feel now is the right time to take on an ambitious project and this was a chance I just had to jump at.

“I really can’t wait to get going. I’m really grateful for Chris [Wood, strategic lead for the Belles] putting his faith in me. I don’t take it lightly.

"There is a big project on and I don’t see it as part-time. I’m really excited to see what we can do here so the hard work starts now.”

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Toner has already met with the players and will observe their upcoming FA Cup clash with Rugby Borough. He will then take training for the first time next week.

He replaces Sam Winch, who was axed last month.

Wood said: "Ciaran gave us a presentation that had real clarity on the path forwards and project ahead, along with a realistic plan to achieve this

"Many of our viewpoints and visions aligned so I am excited as I look to the future. This is somebody that has the experience in developing players, is very innovative in his approach, is good person, and I am convinced he can take us to the next level.

"We understand the appointment has taken slightly longer than initially intended but we went through an incredibly robust process. It was important we got to know Ciaran and ensure that he had our full trust for the project ahead.

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"We were comfortable in taking the time required because the team was in safe hands with Shaun Hird and Paul Edmunds.

"We send our thanks and praise for how they have steadied the ship and kept the players together as a group. The players have thanked them and hopefully the fans will give them a great reception on Sunday."