Rovers U18s centre half Charlie Petch is feeling positive following the final game of the summer schedule at Gainsborough Trinity.
Chad Gribble’s side fell to defeat on their travels after conceding an own goal in the opening period of the game as they lost by only a one-goal deficit against a very experienced side.
Rovers managed to soak up a lot of Trinity’s attacking play and competed well within the match, losing by the narrowest of margins and Petch felt his team rose to the challenge in their final test before the start of the EFL Youth Alliance campaign.
He said: “I think we’ve coped really well with the physicality of the opposition and coming up against a player like Clayton Donaldson up front, I think Bobby Faulker, Jak Whiting and I have coped well with that challenge and played really well.
“I think we’ve been a bit unlucky with the scoreline, especially considering how their goals went in but we’ve competed to a good standard against experienced opposition.”
Petch has now entered his second year as a scholar with the U18s but has, along with the rest of his teammates, seen a change in management with Gribble taking the helm and the defender felt the side have adapted well to take on the challenges of the new season.
He added: “Throughout pre-season, we have done really well together. We’ve gelled as a team and I think we’re ready to go into the new season.
“We’ve all got match fit over the last month or so in time for that first game against Hartlepool and we’ve prepared well against all sorts of opponents, so I think we’re in a place now where we can go and tackle that game head on.”
With Rovers’ first game of the 2022/23 EFL Youth Alliance North East season quickly coming up on the horizon at home against Hartlepool United on Saturday, August 13, Petch has set out what he hopes to achieve in the new campaign.
He said: “I think as a team we should definitely be at least aiming for that top half to get into that higher quality merit league and I think we can definitely achieve that.
“On an individual note my dad’s set me the target of scoring a few goals this season but personally I want to get as many clean sheets as possible and concede as few as I can to hopefully push towards the first team.”