James Coppinger: Doncaster veteran to play one final season past the age of 40

James Coppinger
James Coppinger needs eight more goals to reach 100 in his career

Veteran midfielder James Coppinger has signed a deal to play one final season for Doncaster Rovers - but has vowed it will be his last.

Coppinger, who is due to celebrate his 40th birthday in January, will be playing his 17th season for Rovers since signing from Exeter City in 2004.

He has made 658 appearances for the club in all competitions.

"It was inevitable that I would come back," said Coppinger, who scored four goals during the 2019-20 season.

"It was just whether Doncaster were willing to offer me a new contract and there was something on the table.

"I'm confident I will do all I can to be involved and prove to the manager that I'm still available and I can still do what he wants me to do."

Doncaster finished ninth in League One under Darren Moore in 2019-20 after the season was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coppinger's long career

Coppinger's overall career tally stands at 780 games since he first began as a Darlington trainee in August 1997.

He then spent four years with Newcastle United following a £250,000 move, making just one league appearance as a substitute, during which he had two separate loan spells at neighbours Hartlepool, before joining Exeter in 2002.

He is the only remaining player to have turned out for Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium and their previous home at Belle Vue, which they left in 2006.

His only move away from the club in that time was four months on loan with Nottingham Forest under his former Doncaster boss Sean O'Driscoll, in the first half of the 2012-13 season.

Age is no barrier

Coppinger is currently the oldest player signed to play in the English Football League for the 2020-21 season.

The oldest player this season was Crawley's Dannie Bulman, 41, who has yet to agree a new deal offered by the League Two club.

Morecambe released the second oldest, Kevin Ellison, also 41, who is now a target for National League North play-off hopefuls Chester.

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