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9th February, 2012

Moving On from Main

One of Rossington Main's players, Daniel Lodge, has been paying tribute to seven team-mates who have left the Baris NCEL Division One club this season.

He has written the following article whilst recovering from a long-term injury:


The 2011-2012 season saw Rossington Main start the season with arguably the strongest squad seen at the club in many years.

Largely made up of players from Rossington, the squad has a great feel about it and the changing room is a great place to be.

The squad is also made up of players that have parents that live/have lived in the village and a handful of players from surrounding areas of Doncaster.

Since the beginning of pre-season, the Main has lost no less than seven influential players.

These include club captain Michael Macdonald, Carl Hastie, one of the club all-time leading scorers Lee Holmes, danger men Jason Stokes and Zeph Thomas, former Rotherham pro Jamie Green and former Columbus Crew man Ben Hunter.

Six of the seven are Rossington based, so why did they move on? Where did they go? Here is a closer look into the paths they have followed.


Michael Macdonald
Michael (Chips) is a long serving Rossington player, playing several years in the reserves before flourishing in the first team.

Under the guidance of previous manager Mel Culshaw, Michael was made first team captain for his consistency, commitment and the example he set for his team mates.

Last season, he led the Main to their first Senior Cup Final and one of their best league finishes in several years.

Of the seven, Michael is the only player not to be moving elsewhere for football reasons.

In the summer 2011, Michael moved to Australia to experience life down under.

Hopefully for us here at Rossington Main, if/when Michael ever returns to sunny Doncaster he will once again put on a blue shirt.

All the best Chippo.


Carl Hastie
Another local, long time club man Carl has left us this season.

Carl came to pre-season in typical outstanding physical shape but, in the first friendly, he picked up a serious knee injury.

He can play anywhere down the right, has plenty of pace and is excellent technically, and has played in several spells for the Main since he was at school.

Unfortunately, Carl is unable to continue playing due to the knee injury that he picked up.

He will be a great miss to the playing side, plus the changing room due to his lively character and brilliant sense of humour.

We wish Carl continues to increase his fitness levels and his injury doesn't cause him too much trouble. We would love to see Carl in a blue shirt again.


Jason Stokes
Jason, son of Chairman Carl, has been an influential member of the Rossington squad for several seasons, despite his young age.

A character in the dressing room and the training pitch as well as his threat out wide on a Saturday afternoon.

The pacey and tricky winger is able to play on both flanks or down the middle.

He has given many a full-back a headache this season, and they will be glad to see the back of him.

Jason tried his luck in the USA in 2010 when he went to college and played ‘soccer’.

Things didn't work out how he had planned and returned the same season.

He played 29 times before leaving, scoring six and creating eleven.

Jase threatened for ninety minutes and was an outlet for his team mates when on the attack.

His last game was away at Appleby Frodingham at the beginning of 2012, where he demonstrated just what he was capable of with an awesome display.

Jase has left the club on fantastic terms to play full time football in Belgium for Liege based side Royal Racing Football Club Montegnee in the ‘Belgium Promotion D’ League.

After the winter break, Jason has made several appearances (some as a full back) and all at the club wish him the absolute best of luck in his quest for professional football abroad!


Zeph Thomas
Bradford boy Zeph has had several spells at the club developing a couple of devastating strike partnerships during that time.

None more so than the end of the 2010-11 season, where he helped Liam Charlton pick up the club's top scorer award.

Unfortunately, Zeph was sent off last season against Glasshoughton Welfare which meant he missed the Wilkinson Sword Trophy Cup Final against the same opposition.

He could have been just the spark that the Main needed to create the chances that we needed to get back into the game.

The former Rotherham United YT man has also had spells at higher levels of non-league at Parkgate and Stocksbridge Park Steels.

Zeph has always shown the desire to go and play at a higher level whilst still showing a commitment to the Main.

Along with Jason Stokes he went to College in the USA to play ‘soccer’ and pursue a career and, like Jason, he returned home after things never met his expectations and hopes.

This season Zeph has made 20 appearances, scoring ten and assisting on three.

Zeph has moved with close friend Jason Stokes to pursue a career abroad in Belgium.

He has also signed for the same club RRFCM where he has made a couple of appearances so far.

Once again, we all wish Zeph the best of luck as he deserves it through his persistence to achieve better things.


Jamie Green
Rossington lad Jamie played over sixty senior games from Rotherham United, scoring twice.

But, under the new management at the club, his opportunities for first team action dried up.

He spent some time at Boston United on loan in 2011 before returning to the Millers.

Unfortunately Jamie wasn’t offered a new contract and left the club.

During the 2011-12 pre-season, Jamie trialled at Bradford City and other pro clubs.

With many friends at the Main he trained with us to keep up his fitness in hope of going elsewhere, the Main were aware of his intentions and were very willing to help him out.

Manager Steve Lodge and his staff were pleased to see Jamie stick around for a few games too, he made four appearances and got on the score sheet in a 3-0 win against Eccleshill with a great individual effort.

The Main were involved in some ‘Deadline Day’ action when Jamie signed for Conference side Grimsby Town. Jamie has made six appearances and scored one but he is currently struggling with injury and working hard to get back fit.

A close friend of the club, we wish Jamie all the best and hope he recovers quickly from injury to get back to his best.


Ben Hunter
Rossington lad Ben has had several stints as a Rossington player under different managers including Richard Sennett and current manager Steve Lodge.

He has also had NCEL experience with Winterton Rangers, once again under Sennett.

Ben studied and played in the USA for several years, including a spell at MLS club Columbus Crew and a spell in the US Development league with Carolina Dynamo and professionally in the USL 2nd Tier with Richmond Kickers.

During 2011-12 pre-season, Ben came to the Main to get some games and improve his fitness.

Ben had shown an interest in joining Matlock Town but decided Rossington was the place he needed to be in order to play regular football.

Ben made seven appearances, scoring two and assisting on three, showing a touch of class and quality that was welcome in the Main's squad, before moving on to Matlock Town.


Lee Holmes
One of the club's all-time leading goal scorers and still only 23, Lee had become an important member of the squad and the club as a whole.

Versatile, tricky, good finisher and pacey, Lee played up front or wide right (and even helped out at centre half).

He began his time at the Main in the second team whilst still at school along with Daniel Lodge and Carl Hastie.

He quickly proved his ability to mix it with the men and was promoted to the first team.

He has been and gone several times, leaving the club for spells at Retford United, Selby Town and Staveley Miners Welfare.

Lee was welcomed back to the club several times, despite several people disagreeing with the move.

It turned out to be positive for the Main though; this season Lee played thirty times, scoring nineteen and assisting four.

Unfortunately for Main, he found a move to Worksop Parramore too tempting and transferred to the Division One rivals.


Despite losing some excellent players, Steve Lodge still has a squad with quality in depth.

This will be much needed as the club bid to attain their strongest league finish and points total in many years.

The first team are looking fit and determined while the second team are flying at the top of their division.

(Story Source: Rossington Main)

Click here for Rossington Main's team page.

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