NEW signing Ben Whiteman says he quickly made his decision to join Doncaster Rovers at the end of last season – despite rival interest from elsewhere.
The Sheffield United midfield player, 21, has joined Rovers for an initial six-month loan spell, with the potential for a longer deal, and is confident that a move up the M18 will represent the next step forward in his career.
Whiteman, who enjoyed a productive spell at League Two side Mansfield Town in the second half of last season, told The Yorkshire Post: “I did have (other) interest, but it was sorted in the end and, as soon as I heard that Doncaster were interested, I wanted to join. I see no reason why we cannot do well next season.
“The move was all sorted pretty much a week after the season finished. There were just a few complications around holidays and things like that. It was always going to happen and I am delighted it has been announced.”
Rochdale-born Whiteman, who has struggled for opportunities at his parent club, showed his prowess with seven goals in 28 matches at Field Mill and believes he can build on that output at Rovers, who he rated as the best team in League Two last term.
His dynamism in the middle of the pitch will be an obvious benefit for his new club, with the Lancastrian seeking to progress his career further at the level above.
Whiteman says his appetite was whetted after lining up against Rovers for Mansfield during his new club’s promotion-clinching game in April in front of around 10,000 at the Keepmoat Stadium.
He said: “I see myself as a mobile, box-to-box midfielder who is comfortable on the ball and, hopefully, I will score a few goals.
“It is the next step for me in my career and, hopefully, I can have a good time here, as I did at Mansfield. I played against Doncaster last season and they were a really strong team and were good up front and kept the ball well. I think they were the best side we played.
“They were up there with Plymouth and Portsmouth, in fact I do think that they were the best side we played.
I see myself as a mobile, box-to-box midfielder who is comfortable on the ball and, hopefully, I will score a few goals.Ben Whiteman
“I loved it at Mansfield. It was my first real crack at the Football League as I hadn’t really played as much as I wanted at Sheffield United and, hopefully, I can kick on again at Doncaster.”
Whiteman’s arrival at the Keepmoat is Rovers chief Darren Ferguson’s fourth close-season capture after the signings of Niall Mason, Danny Andrew and Alex Kiwomya.