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Academy

Blythe delighted to extend stay with Rovers

22 June 2021

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Rovers took up a one-year option on defender Ben Blythe in the summer, keeping him at the club until the summer of 2022.

It was a challenging 12-months for the young centre back who played just 45 minutes of football last season making his senior debut in the final match of the 2020/21 campaign.

“Last year was tough mentally. I was training but I had no games to look forward to so this year, hopefully things can go back to normal and if I get my chance, then I’ll be trying to take it,” he said.

“The manager’s said that everyone’s got a clean slate so I think I’ve just got to give it my all in pre-season because this pre-season is my biggest one because I need to show my attributes and what I can bring.

“I want to go back as fit as possible, get some more game time and hopefully impress the new gaffer.”

The left-footer captained Rovers U18s to their first title in his final season at Academy level - it was a team which included Lirak Hasani, Liam Ravenhill and Ben Bottomley all of whom signed deals this week.

“We spent time in the youth team together so it’s great to have so many young players coming through. We all know each other well and it’s nice to see them all doing well," he added.

“This club works with the Academy and likes to bring through home grown players. It’s massive for this club.”

Blythe replaced Andy Butler against Peterborough United in the final game of the season but had been on the bench a number of times throughout the campaign. He believes that those experiences have made him even more determined to do well.

“I found on the Friday before I made my debut that I’d be getting some game time. I enjoyed it and I think I took my chance well," he said.

“Obviously there’s room improvement, there’s always room for improvement but I’ve got a taste for it now.

“Even when I wasn’t on the bench, it was still nice to be travelling and training with the first team. I’ve been able to see what it’s like with the meetings and I’ve been getting a taste of what it’s like to be a professional player.

“I’m just going to give it my all this season and see where it goes from there.”

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