Reece James explains why he quit Sunderland for League One rivals Doncaster Rovers

Reece James says the vision sold to him by Grant McCann and former Sunderland coach Cliff Byrne convinced him to join Doncaster Rovers.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 5:18 pm
Reece James has joined Doncaster Rovers on a two-year deal
Reece James has joined Doncaster Rovers on a two-year deal

The left-back had agreed to extend his Wearside stay for another year but yesterday signed a two-year deal at the Keepmoat Stadium.

James will be first-choice under McCann after Danny Andrew left to join Fleetwood Town earlier this week.

The 25-year-old said Doncaster were a ‘great team to watch’ last season and were unlucky not to go through the play-offs.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I had a conversation with Grant and Cliff Byrne and they sold the club to me,” he told the Doncaster Free Press.

“The ambitions they both have match mine – and that is to challenge for promotion.

“That made my decision an easy one and my mind was made up that I wanted to sign for the club. I’m really excited about the opportunity to come to Doncaster after playing quite a lot of games last season.

“I watched the games in the play-offs last season and they were really unfortunate not to go through, but as a team they were great to watch.

“I know the league and what it takes to get out of this division, hopefully that can add to the experience in the squad that is already here.”

Manager McCann said: “He has a lot of experience of this league, having won promotion with Wigan then going very close with Sunderland last season.

“He was our main target for this position and I’m really pleased to have secured his services for the coming seasons.”

Last week, Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald said that the 25-year-old had taken up an option in his contract to extend his Wearside stay for a further year. But after losing star left-back Andrew to Fleetwood, Doncaster moved quickly for James. Sunderland will receive an undisclosed fee.

James was a regular last season, making 34 appearances in all competitions. He missed the final two months of the campaign due to injury, making his last appearance in the Checkatrade Trophy final defeat to Portsmouth.

He faced competition for his place from Bryan Oviedo and Denver Hume, who looks set for a big role next season after signing a new long-term contract at the club earlier this year.

Hume looks set for a big role next season having been regularly praised for his efforts on and off the pitch by manager Jack Ross.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​