Academy Manager Tony Cook believes four U18s players being offered pro deals is an example of the strength or the Academy and highlights first-team manager Grant McCann’s faith in young players.
AJ Greaves, Branden Horton, Myron Gibbons, and Rieves Boocock have been given professional deals and will form part of the 19/20 U23 Development side.
Cook said: “I’m delighted for the four lads who’ve signed their deals. All four have been included in first team squads this season which just proves the club’s intention to give opportunities for a clear pathway and that has been facilitated by the first team manager, Grant McCann, who is a big advocate of young players. If they’re good enough, Grant will give them an opportunity and he’s always looking to pull from the resources of our vibrant Academy.
“We’ve created a really strong development pathway at Doncaster Rovers. The players have such a unique environment here and the U18s are in front of the first team management staff every day so the staff are aware of the players and the players are interacting with the first team so can learn from experiences professionals such as Andy Butler, Tommy Rowe and James Coppinger.
“Credit should go to the multidisciplinary support team, who are so vital in ensuring there the players have everything they need to fulfil their potential. We’re trying to create that culture within the Academy where all the kids know that if they’re good enough they will be given the opportunity to achieve their dream of playing first team football for Rovers.”
Doncaster born and bred, Boocock has been with Rovers’ Academy since the U9s. A standout goalscorer, he has an impressive 21 strikes for the U18s in the current campaign. He made his Rovers debut in a 3-1 away victory over Gillingham in Sky Bet League One and his home debut against Crystal Palace in the Emirates FA Cup.
Greaves joined the Rovers Academy on July 2017 from Sheffield Wednesday. He captains the U18s and has stared in the U23s Development team. He agreed his pro deal in December with Paul Stancliffe hailing the midfielder’s hard-work and character.
Gibbons joined the Academy in 2016. He has had a huge impact on the U18s and U23s and received praise from manager McCann after impressing in pre-season first team matches. He has been included in a number of match ay squads in the current campaign.
Horton came through the development scheme and joined the Academy in 2014 becoming part of the U13s Rovers squad. He is now an important part of both the U18 and Development sides, and has been on the bench for the first team on a number of occasions.