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Academy

Praise for young debutant Hasani

25 March 2019

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Manager Grant McCann praised 16-year-old Lirak Hasani after the youth team player made his senior debut on Saturday against Luton Town.

Midfielder Hasani, who has come through the youth ranks with Rovers, came on for the final 19 minutes of the defeat against the Hatters.

Hasani, one of the youngest debutants in the club's history - although Alick Jeffrey remains the youngest at 15 years and 229 days - looked comfortable in possession of the ball.

"I thought he was excellent when he came on, for a 16-year-old boy to come on in that environment isn't easy, but he didn't look out of place at all, he kept it simple and moved the ball quickly," McCann said.

"He's a big boy for his age, he's developed quickly, and I really was delighted with him, he was travelled with the team to Blackpool the other week and has trained with the first team a lot recently, so I didn't have any problems with throwing him in.

"I like bravery and I like people who want to get on the ball, ones who aren't afraid to make a mistake, and Lirak ticks all the boxes for me, we rate him very highly and I'm pleased with how he coped."

Club captain Andy Butler also praised Hasani, with the defender feeling like the youngster could come away with his head held high.

"Lirak was brilliant when he came on, for a 16-year-old to come on to the pitch against the side that are top of the league and play how he did shows what he's all about, and that's a big positive for us," he said.

"He's trained with us recently and rightly so, he came on and played well, took some nice little touches, held the ball well and battled in midfield a few times against some very good players.

"I'm very pleased for him and like I say, it's a positive for us, the lads will be looking at it and thinking it's great that a lad of just 16 is pushing for a place in the first team, it's up to the whole team to push everyone, and we'll all help him where we can, he's a part of the team and we'll all stick together."


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