Gary McSheffrey has taken charge of Rovers U18s after Paul Stancliffe retired from the role at the conclusion of the 2020/21 season.
McSheffrey has previously managed Rovers U23s and takes the reigns of the youth team ahead of the youngsters’ arrival for pre-season.
“We’re really excited to get in and work with a good cohort of players,” he said.
“The players have had a little break over the summer, so it’ll be good to get back and I’m sure we’re all really looking forward to it. We hope that it’s a full on, normal season.
“We’re hopeful that we can eventually go back to Cantley Park and have more interaction with the first-team – last year the youth team weren’t able to be there but hopefully we can get back to normality, and the players can learn and relish being around the first-team environment.”
Rovers Academy has been on an upward trajectory over the past decade with more and more players signing first-team contracts and McSheffrey believes a successful U18s season can be judged on the number of players who go onto play a part in the senior team.
“It’s not a massive results business at this age,” he added.
“We want to win the league – of course we do – but if we win the league and don’t have a player get a pro-deal it’s not a successful year.
“We’re just trying to make individual players better so they can handle stepping into the first-team environment.
“There are good numbers of Academy players in the first-team training group, but they started getting game time last year so that shows that there’s a pathway if you’re good enough. The club are in a position where we want to develop our own – and the more that we can get through, the better that will be in the club.”