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One to watch: James Coppinger

15 February 2018

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The one to watch for Fleetwood’s trip to Doncaster is veteran midfielder James Coppinger.

The Rovers legend began his playing days with Newcastle United, with his only appearance coming against Tottenham Hotspur in 2000.

After two loan spells with Hartlepool United and QPR, Coppinger moved to Exeter City in 2003. His time in the south west wasn’t successful, as Exeter dropped out of the football league during his first season at the club.

In May 2004, the 37-year-old was signed by manager Dave Penney to strengthen Doncaster’s squad in League One. And as some say, the rest is history.

The only player in the club’s history to reach the incredible milestone of 500 league games, Coppinger has scored 56 league goals during his time in Yorkshire.

The Donny midfielder is in his 14th season with the club, winning two promotions to the Championship and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy during his time.

A stand-out moment for the club captain was a sublime hat-trick in the League One play-off semi-final against Southend United in 2008 – Donny went on to secure promotion by beating Leeds 1-0 at Wembley.

Relegation followed for Doncaster, however, but Coppinger scored the vital goal in the dying seconds against Brentford as Donny won 1-0 to win promotion back to the second tier in 2013.

Last month, the attacking midfielder extended his contract until the end of the 2017/18 campaign.

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