Doncaster Rovers: Darren Ferguson pledges more opportunities for club's youngsters
Darren Ferguson insists he will continue to give Doncaster Rovers' young crop of players plenty of game time next season.
The likes of Liam Mandeville, Alfie Beestin and Will Longbottom regularly featured in matchday squads last season with Mandeville in particular flourishing.
Longbottom is one player expected to have greater involvement in the next campaign.
Boss Ferguson says this summer will be key for the youngsters, both before and after pre-season training begins.
“With the young players, sometimes they go away for the summer and they come back as men,” Ferguson told The Star.
“You see a big change in them.
“They grow and develop physically over the summer months and you see a big difference in them.
“I think Longbottom has got a big future, I really do.
“Other people like Alfie May and Alfie Beestin, it’s their first pre-seasons with us.
“That will make a big difference to them.
“They’ll kick on as players.
“They’ve got a bright future and a big future at the club.
“I think everyone knows I want to give the young players as many games as possible.”
Ferguson is likely to give young players game time in the Checkatrade Trophy next season, as he did in the last campaign.
As part of Rovers’ continued drive to bring through their own players, a development squad will be formed for next season.
It means younger players such as 19-year-old Beestin will take part in additional sessions away from the first team in order to aid their devopment.
“It’s something we’ve not had before,” Ferguson said.
“It’ll be six or seven of the young lads added to the best second year apprentices we think we’ve got.
“There will be specific sessions that they will do.
“Sometimes they’ll be with the first team but mainly it’ll be specific sessions in the afternoon.
“It’s a development group we need.
“We’ve got to develop our own players and that’s where I see them.”
Rovers’ youth team will take part in a pre-season friendly at Gainsborough Trinity on July 31.