Academy star Lirak Hasani has been grabbing headlines throughout March after making his senior debut aged just 16 - becoming one of the youngest first-team players in recent Rovers history.
Hasani has made two appearances, coming on as a late substitute away at Luton Town and at home to Walsall, and head of Academy Tony Cook says the youngsters inclusion in the team has demonstrated Grant McCann’s commitment to drawing on the young talent from the Academy.
Cook said: “Lirak is showing how it can be done with his preparation on and off the pitch, and the way he goes about things in general. He’ll train with the first team and then head straight over to the academy to do his Level Two Coaching badges, that’s the sort of mentality we’re after.
“It was amazing to see Lirak make his debut, I haven’t known him that long really because I’ve only been at the Academy for two years but I’ve seen his progression from U15s to where he is now and to see how he’s grown is terrific. He was actually quite late coming in to the system but he’s a gem of a kid and he’s a delight to work with. He’s made his debut, which is obviously a fantastic achievement, but he doesn’t get carried away, he took it for what it was.
“This is a lad who has made his debut aged 16 away against top of the league when we’re 2-0 down, that’s the trust the manager will put in the young players, and of course it shows Lirak’s mental toughness too.”
Grant McCann added: “Lirak has been really impressive since I’ve come in. I’ve watched him in the youth team games and he was head and shoulders above some of the second years from the opposition. He’s progressing really well and he’s got a really bright future."
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