Paul Stancliffe believes Thursday’s FA Youth Cup tie with Walsall is a chance for Rovers’ young players to show how far they have progressed this season.
Stancliffe’s men will take on the young Saddlers (7pm KO) on the Keepmoat Stadium pitch looking to show they are worthy of a place in future Development side games and even a first-team spot in the Checkatrade Trophy.
He said: “That’s the next aim if you like, to feature in John Schofield’s Development squad and the Checkatrade Trophy games. These games give them a real opportunity to progress and get into the thinking of the gaffer for the first-team as well.
“The players have knuckled down in training, listened to everything said by the coaches right up to the gaffer who uses them regularly in first-team training. A few are now beginning to get noticed and making appearances with the first-team, and matches like this give them a great opportunity to get noticed.
“We know Walsall like to play, as we do, so hopefully we can have a good game. We’re trying to get the right mentality into our players, and these big games are a great chance to build on that.”
Thursday’s game will be played on the main Keepmoat Stadium pitch, providing some of the young players their first taste of playing in such a big stadium.
Stancliffe added: “The pitch is the same size as the ones we train on, but mentally it is different and to play on anyone’s first-team pitch - whether it is the Keepmoat Stadium or Old Trafford - is a big occasion and one they have to embrace and enjoy.
“They still have to keep their concentration levels and show their mentality is right - they have to give themselves the best chance by preparing right. We’ve worked ever so hard this week on the shape, they’re in a good mood and we want to keep that going.”
Tickets for Thursday’s game (KO 7pm) are just £1 for Season Members and concessions, or £3 for adults. Book your tickets now by calling 01302 762576 or going to tickets.clubdoncaster.co.uk.