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24Newport County12-87

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Hird Spurred by Rovers Return

By: Rob Sedgwick
Date: 25/05/2008

FORMER loan defender Sam Hird would seem unlikely to be persuaded to move to Blundell Park next season after his club Doncaster Rovers were promoted to the Championship today. Hird, whose time at Blundell Park coincided with Town's best form last season, returned to Rovers in February.

Within a few weeks the central defender, who played as a right wing back with Town, was to fight his way back into the Rovers first team, and appear in the last few games of the season, plus the emphatic play-off win over Southend. Following today's David v Goliath win at Wembley over the mighty Leeds United, Hird has to wait and see whether Doncaster offer him a new contract in the summer. However his form over the last few games and the fact that Rovers are now a Championship club mean that Hird is likely to attract the attention of other clubs even if Doncaster do not wish to offer terms to the 21-year-old.

Town assistant manager Stuart Watkiss has admitted that former loan defender Rob Atkinson as well as Hird are both summer targets for the Mariners.

"We are in contact with Barnsley about Rob," Watkiss told the Grimsby Telegraph. "Simon Davey has got to identify whether or not Rob is part of his plans. If he is he will stay there. If not, it is something we will look at."

"Sometimes in football you need to take a step backward to step forwards," added Watkiss.

Of the two Atkinson is more likely to sign having stayed at Blundell Park on loan from Oakwell until the end of last season, and having made only six appearances in four years at Barnsley.

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