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Academy

Whiting relishing challenges ahead

19 July 2022

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Rovers U18s defender Jak Whiting has enjoyed pre-season so far and is looking forward to continuing the youth teams preparation for the upcoming season.

Chad Gribble’s side was leading for much of the second-half thanks to a headed goal from Will Flint but was forced to take a draw from the fixture after a late Blades equaliser in the heat of Cantley Park.

The match saw Whiting return to the U18s squad for the first time since the summer break after a number of outings for the first-team in their own pre-season preparations and the defender felt the side had plenty to take away from the game.

He said: “I think it’s a really positive second game of pre-season for the lads to play against a team that is probably higher in terms of stature to us and more than match them man-to-man as well as looking really confident in and out of possession.

“I don’t think we really looked like conceding in the first 60 minutes of the game and that’s a massive positive to do that against a team like Sheffield United.”

Although Whiting only made his first appearance of pre-season for the U18s against Sheffield United, Whiting has featured in three first-team games over the last few weeks, an opportunity he feels he will make use of going into the new Youth Alliance season.

He added: “It’s been brilliant being with the first-team, it was a really good experience and I’m really grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given over the last couple of weeks.

“Obviously I’ve got to keep working hard to give myself the best chance of getting more opportunities in the future, but it’s been great and I’ve now got to use the experience I’ve had to do as well as I can with the lads here.”

With Rovers putting up an impressive performance against an Academy of a higher category, Whiting felt the game gave the U18s a good foundation to build on as his side continue to ramp up pre-season but insisted preparation will be key in rising to the challenge.

He explained: “I think it’s been the perfect challenge today to set us up for what will be a really physical game in midweek playing against a men’s side.

“Sheffield United have some big lads in their side that has given us an insight into a physical battle so I think we need to make sure we recover well from the game." 


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