Rovers U16s defeated Northampton Town in the EFL U16s National Final on Sunday to be crowned national champions.
The final, which was played at Derby County Academy, saw the winner of the Northern Regional Final (Rovers) take on the winner of the Southern Regional Final (Northampton) to find out who would take home the trophy.
Rovers saw off tough competition from seven Category 3 Academies to finish top of the table in their EFL mini league to qualify for the Northern Regional Final. They progressed with a convincing win over their opponents – Shrewsbury Town – to book their place in the National Final.
The final was a good battle between two very strong U16s teams and was evenly contested for much of the 90 minutes. Both defences and goalkeepers were busy throughout but Rovers proved more clinical in the end.
The weather conditions and strong wind made for a difficult afternoon for both sides but – despite going behind early in the match – Rovers were able to cope with the challenges better than their opponents, regain their composure and come from behind to claim the victory.
Lead Youth Development Phase coach and U16s head coach Tony Mee said: “Everyone in the Academy is very proud of the achievement. While player development is at the forefront of everyone's work, this competitive element to the programme gives the boys a taste of what is required as they go through the levels.
“We are also extremely grateful to the families who make great sacrifices to allow our young people the opportunity to participate at this level".