Doncaster Rovers 3-0 victory over Burton Albion was a big night for youth team graduates Mitchell Lund and Billy Whitehouse who both made their professional debuts for the club.18 year old Lund, who signed a professional contract in July, played the full 90 minutes at right back for Rovers to replace the injured Liam Wakefield. Meanwhile Whitehouse came on as a substitute to make his debut and Harry Middleton also made his first appearance of the season.
The youngster expressed his delight at representing the first team and stated his intention to continue to push for a starting place.
“I thought it was great,” said Lund. “I really enjoyed it. I was happy to get 90 minutes and get some game time under my belt but what a great experience, hopefully I’ll get another game soon.
“I will be speaking to the manager tonight and see what he says on my performance, but hopefully I will get some good feedback and I’ve proved that I can make the step up to the first team”
Rovers victory over the League Two side ensured their progression in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, as they look to book a place at Wembley Stadium.
“We went to Burton to win, we wanted to progress. We need to win the next game and keep this run going, if we can do that it will give us confidence.
“This competition is a great chance to do well and if we put together a good run of performances we could be playing at Wembley. That would be a great achievement.
“The more senior players of the squad were helping me out before the game, just telling me to be more aggressive, get involved as much as I could and to keep working hard.
“The tempo is much quicker when you play in the first team, you really have to up your game and there’s no room for mistakes, but I think I stepped up and I think I did well.”
Lund has come through the ranks at Doncaster Rovers, having joined the academy at the age of 12 and has instantly recognised the importance of his senior players.
“When you come up from the youth team in your first year, it’s important to look to the more experienced players to guide you and help you through so you know you’re heading in the right direction. If you take on board what the likes of Copps and Wellens say to you then you won’t go far wrong.
“At the start of the season I wasn’t travelling with the first team as much. Now I’ve started travelling and being included in the squad, which has boosted my confidence a lot. Hopefully if I continue to show a good attitude I will get another game again soon.”
Paul Dickov was also quick to compliment Lund’s debut performance:
“Mitchell showed great maturity tonight and was fantastic. He is still a very young boy and has a lot to learn, but he’s going to be a good player.
“He’s someone who we knew we wanted to be pushing for first team last year as a youth team player.”