Every player (and Keith Hill) appeared in our 'Ask' feature during the course of the campaign, and over we'll be picking some of our favourite Q&As to recap.
Today, it's the turn of Niall Canavan...
Your favourite moment in a Dale shirt?
I enjoyed scoring the equaliser against Doncaster last season. It was great to feeling to score in the last minute and to get something for the team. It was a crucial point for us as it kept our season alive for a bit longer in terms of our push for the play-offs.
The day I won promotion with Scunthorpe United to get back into League One during the 2013-14 season. The result hadn’t gone our way at Exeter but luckily everything fell into place elsewhere. We had to wait a few minutes after the full-time whistle for the final results to come through and once we got the good news, we had a good time celebrating.
Having been at the club for such a long time and coming through the youth system there, it was a nice moment for me. At the time, Russ Wilcox was in charge, but Tony Daws, my Youth Team coach was acting as assistant, so it was nice to celebrate with someone who had seen me make that progression through my career.
I only missed one game that season, which was through injury, so it was nice to know that I had played a big part in a successful season.
What’s your matchday routine like? Do you have any superstitions?
If you’ve watched the pitchside cam feature, you’ll notice that I take the top off my bottle and throw it down the side of the door on my way out of the tunnel. I don’t know why. I think I did it once and we must have won or I’ve scored and it’s just something I do now. If there’s a door at away games, I’ll do it there as well.
I always throw the lid on the left-hand side and I’ll normally throw the bottle across the other team when we get out. It’s not a superstition that guarantees anything but I have to do it now. It’s part of my routine, just like Joe Raff putting a water bottle on top of the dugout. It’s something that becomes part of your routine then you can’t really stop yourself from doing it.
That’s possibly my only quirk, apart from I do two jumps when I get out onto the pitch.
Car school. What are Josh Lillis and Peter Vincenti like for company in the morning?
Both me and Pete travel from Leeds so we car share every morning, and when we’re training in Manchester we’ll pick Josh up in Rochdale on the way through. It’s a good car school – Pete’s normally got plenty to chat about and debate at times. He’s got a few stories that he likes to tell as well, and I’ve known Josh for years so we all get on really well. We had Dave Syers in there last year, too.
Who did you support when you were growing up?
I’m from Leeds and my family support Leeds, so the obvious choice was to do that as well. I played for Leeds City boys, the schools’ district side, and when I was about 13-years-old, we used to ball boy at Elland Road, which was good. So I was there to do a job but to also watch a bit of football as well.
If you could play alongside any player from the past who has now retired, who would you choose?
Paolo Maldini. I don’t really think it needs explaining. What he did in the game, what he achieved in the game and the ability that he had was second to none.
Something we might not know about you…
I’m looking at starting an Open University degree, something that will help me find a career after football.
I’ve been looking at economics and mathematical sciences. I’ve always been good at maths – I took my GCSEs a year early. That’s a subject I’ve always done well in and it seems a natural thing for me to do.