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Gribble: Youngsters benefited from time with pros

22 July 2022

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Rovers U18s manager Chad Gribble has praised the structure at the club following his side’s first win of pre-season after beating Wakefield 3-2 at the Millennium Stadium.

Gribble’s side fielded an XI that was made up of a combination of his U18 players and a number of Gary McSheffrey’s first-team players in a bid to get more matchday minutes into as many legs as possible.

Goals from a trialist, Reo Griffiths and Jak Whiting ensured Rovers came from behind to take victory and remain without loss in preseason, an accomplishment Gribble was keen to point out.

He said: “First and foremost we’ve got the win and it’s a combined unbeaten pre-season for the youth team and the first team and winning’s a good habit.

“It was far from the perfect night for us but I thought we were better in the second half, had more control over the game and were more aggressive.

“We denied the opponent of any opportunity to get any control on the game and that gave us a foothold to play from and get the result because winning’s a fantastic habit to be in.

“We had to get back into the game and that can come in many different ways, sometimes it looks like that control we had in the second half and sometimes it’s in other ways but we’re just pleased that we’ve come away with a positive result.”

A total of seven first team players started the game at Wakefield and Gribble felt the set up at the club was providing his youthful side with an invaluable chance.

He added: “It’s been a fantastic experience for the young players and I thought the pros that played, did it right.

“The football clubs really building a culture and an environment that’s got unity and there’s clear alignment from the first team down into the youth teams throughout the academy and we’re still building on that structure.

“The lads have been given a great learning opportunity to be around the senior professionals if they go about their business in the right way and they did that tonight particularly coming form a goal down and not been in a great place at half time.

“I thought the pros showed the young lads how to carry out a change and a slightly different plan and we executed it to a reasonable level but again there’s room for us to grow and we need to do that but it’s another win and an unbeaten pre-season.”

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