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Academy

Academy shows strength

10 November 2021

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Rovers Academy continues to go strength-to-strength with a record-breaking 12 Academy players involved in the senior squad’s victory over Scunthorpe United in the Papa John’s Trophy.

After featuring on the bench during Rovers’ 1-0 FA Cup win over the Iron, Tavonga Kuleya got a deserved start on Tuesday night against the same opposition. He assisted Rovers’ first goal in an entertaining 3-2 win. 

In the second-half midfielder Will Hollings replaced Kuleya before Jack Goodman was introduced for Joe Dodoo, becoming the seventh youngest player to wear red and white at 16-year-old and 233 days. 

Also involved on the matchday were second year scholars Alek Wolny and Corie Cole and first year scholars Jack Raper and Alex Fletcher.  

In addition to the seven U18 players in the squad, there were five Academy graduates with Louis Jones, Branden Horton, Lirak Hasani and Ben Blythe starting plus Ben Bottomley made the bench. 

For the first time since the Academy’s formation in 2004, it is the most players produced by Rovers Academy that have featured in a first-team match. 

The good news for the Academy does not stop there. Midfielder Hasani was voted man of the match by supporters at full-time.  

Last month former graduate and Ireland international Paul Green joined the first-team coaching staff at Rovers, representing exactly what young players can go on to achieve after leaving Rovers’ Academy.  

And the U18s recently euphorically beat Basford United in the first round of the FA Youth Cup. Earning them a home tie at the Keepmoat Stadium against local rivals Rotherham United in the second round. A date is yet to be confirmed, but the game will be played before Saturday November 20.  

Make sure to keep your eyes on our social media @drfc_academy for updates on this game as you can come down and support the future of Rovers.  


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