Youngsters from the Doncaster Rovers Youth Team and Academy will once again fly the flag for the region when they head to the annual ‘Gothia Cup’ in Sweden in the early hours of Saturday morning.Youth Team manager Paul Stancliffe outlined how important the week long tournament was in terms of preparation for the season ahead.
“The main reason we go is part of the education of the players,” he said.
“We go out there, play teams from different countries and different styles of football – we’ve got a couple of Swedish teams and a Brazilian team already in the group stages.
“It’s a great education; there are some very good players out there, some good individuals and some good teams so it’s good to pit our wits against them.
“Its our pre-season while its in-season for the Swedes so it’s two fold; one to get fitness that we’ll require and it also gives opportunity to new bodies coming in to get to know everyone.”
Even though it will be the seventh time that former Rotherham and Sheffield United defender Stancliffe will have taken his side, he said “One thing I’ve learned is that the boys never cease to surprise you.”
“They keep going; it’s a tough week with five games in five days so obviously there’s the recovery side of things we have to think about.
“They take everything on board; not just the football but the experience. They love it.
“The first couple of days everyone’s a little bit giddy but then once the games kick in and it’s about recovery and thankfully they start to quieten down!”
Current squad players Mitchell Lund, Harry Middleton, Liam Mandeville and Joe Pugh have all experienced the demands of the ‘Gothia Cup’ and Stancliffe is hopeful that the under 18’s who have experienced some first team action in pre-season will be available to go.
“Hopefully we’ll get them back as we’re short of numbers,” he said.
“To be fair though I don’t think anyone’s eyes will be on them any more than anyone else while we’re out there.
“We’re in to our third week of pre-season and we’re just building up to the first game of the season which is what we’re geared towards. While we want to go and do well in Sweden, it’s not the be all and end all as far as we’re concerned.”
The expected squad is: Danny Amos, Josh Barker, Kain Bingley, Reece Fielding, Matthew Gains, Louis Jones, James Leverton, Matthew Overton, Tyler Walker, Lewis Scattergood, Lloyd Henderson, Will Longbottom, Jacob Fletcher, Morgan James, Keegan Townrow, Cody Prior and James Morris.