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Academy

Frank Sinclair provides an update the Professional Development Phase (U16-U18)

7 September 2023

Academy

Frank Sinclair provides an update the Professional Development Phase (U16-U18)

7 September 2023

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Professional development phase coach Frank Sinclair has provided an update on Rovers U18s following the first month of the 2023/24 season.

The youth team started their season with a strong 4-1 victory over Scunthorpe United but the game was ruled null and void, due to the Iron withdrawing from the competition.

Since August 5, Rovers have fallen to defeats against Blackpool and Rotherham United across all competitions. 

With a two week break from competitive football, the scholars hosted Farsley Celtic at the Hoober Homes Elite Performance Centre and Sinclair was pleased to see the players coming through the ranks and into his side.

He said: “We responded really well in that game to get the win and there were some really positive signs from some of our players.

“Deshaun Musgrave’s been with us for a long time now and he’s got the talent so we all know how good he can be.

“Whenever he plays there’s no fear to be seen and that’s why I’ve had no problems with picking him for our U18s side.

“We’re trying to keep him in and around the squad as much as possible so that he can keep learning and it’s the exact same with Rhomani Murray.

“We've also got 15-year-old Ethan Hodgett, who looks as calm as anyone on the ball and he gives us some real composure in the middle of the park.

“They’re all really pushing our scholars and we want to advance their development so if they’re good enough, they’re old enough and they’ll get their chances.

“I won’t be afraid to use our younger players so it’s looking really good for the future of our Academy.”

First-year scholar Jacob Bacon took the captain’s armband for Rovers U17s opening Floodlit Cup game against Lincoln City in midweek and Sinclair felt the young defender was reaping the rewards of his good work, following a brace in his side’s recent friendly.

“Jacob Bacon played really well for us against Farsley,” he added.

“He’s got that pace and tenacity and he works really hard every day so it’s nice to see the reward he’s got for that.

“He took both of his goals really well after starting the game in a different position so it’s really pleasing to see that we’ve got a player in our squad who has that adaptability and someone who can thrive in different positions.

“He’s a real credit to himself with how he manages to adapt and with everything else that he does week in week out, so it’s good to see him at the best of his ability.”

Away from the youth team, Rovers Academy’s success has been seen by the eyes of the world over the last couple of weeks with current scholar Sam Straughan-Brown and graduate Jack Goodman both featuring in the first-team’s Carabao Cup Second Round tie against Premier League side, Everton.

With both players enjoying minutes with Grant McCann’s side, Sinclair felt both players were a credit to the work of the Academy.

He explained: “Sam's made his professional debut against Everton and Jack got his chance in that game too so it’s good to see how well we’re doing, and on the big stage too.

“We get judged on how many players we can get through the door of the first-team at the end of the day so it just shows how well we’re doing as a department.”


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