Rovers’ Academy are joint first in the country for educational frameworks and retention of apprentices according to the recent LFE performance report.
In 2018, Rovers had an impressive 10 apprentices complete the Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence educational framework among them among them current U23s captain Cody Prior – who has recently signed a contract extension - and the hugely promising Danny Amos.
Rovers are joint first for retention of apprentices and framework with 100% of the club’s learners achieving their NVQs, coaching qualifications, and technical certificates. This means that every one of the Academy’s scholars earn an NVQ, a BTEC, and a Level Two coaching certificate. This puts Rovers ahead of LFE national average for retention (which is 96%) and education framework (which is 94%).
Rovers have also increased the pro contracts awarded season-on-season and are above the national average for player conversion from apprentice to pro-deals. The most recent evidence of this coming as first team manager Grant McCann handed our contracts to U18s players AJ Greaves, Myron Gibbons, Branden Horton and Rieves Boocock.
Academy manager Tony Cook said: “Alongside the players’ holistic development which includes the football and the sports science, the education and welfare process is massive and Club Doncaster take that very seriously.
“The attendance and achievement rate is paramount for our scholars to obtain and the support process from Tony Morton – who is the ex-education and welfare officer – and now Nathan Fawley - who is the new education and welfare officer - alongside Doncaster College and the LFE itself is crucial for our players’ development.
“When you look at the pro-deals we award, and then the number of scholars who go on to make their first team debut, that number is really high. The manager, Grant McCann, has proven that if the young players are good enough, he will give them a chance and we’ve seen that with Lirak Hasani making his debut at 16. Lirak is a local boy who joined us from Bessacar, a side who train just five minutes from Rovers training ground so it shows that there's a really opportunity for young men in Doncaster to reach their dream of playing for Doncaster Rovers.
"Our players can see a clear pathway from U9s to the first-team but if professional football is not where our players are destined to end up, we also spend a lot of time making sure we have a very good exit strategy is in place to ensure that these young men are in the best possible position when leaving the academy set up.”
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