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Academy

Tony Cook's Academy update

8 February 2022

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Academy manager Tony Cook has provided an update on all Academy news from the last two months.

As Rovers and EFL are set to celebrate Youth Development week, Cook has given a run-down of all Academy news.

On Academy coaches Gary McSheffrey, Frank Sinclair and Steve Hernandez moving to the first team: 

“They have been a big loss but in terms of coach development and people progressing through the Academy, it is a big positive. 

“It has never been looked at as a negative."

On the U18s form through December and January: 

“The form has been really good. After losing Gary and having to readjust the way we work to make sure there has been no stone left unturned.  

“We feel we have had good continuity. We have had a few friendly games against Middlesbrough and Salford City that have helped us with the development of a few of the players. 

“We have had two good wins and clean sheets in January. We have been very pleased and we have started doing more one-to-one work with the players. We are doing unit work with them too and they have all responded to it well. 

“The second years are pushing for an elite contract and are working hard on their college work. 

“Jack Goodman is flying with his goal ratio and I have been pleased with Faris Khan’s form who originally struggled with the step up but he has come into his own in recent months.” 

On the arrival of lead Foundation Phase coach Adam Pilgrim: 

“He has made an immediate impact. Adam has been very proactive since he has arrived. 

“He has added extra value by organising competitive games against category one and two outfits.”  

“Adam is a good person with high aspirations and wants to be the best Foundation Phase coach in the country.” 

On the progress the Foundation and Development Phase age groups have made:  

“There have been multiple games against category one and two sides. All age groups are being rewarded for their hard work with a trip to Liverpool Academy later in February 2022. 

“We have games against Newcastle United planned as well so there are some good games coming up.” 


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