Doncaster Rovers: Teenager Lirak Hasani can have big part to play before end of season

Lirak Hasani. Picture: Heather King
Lirak Hasani. Picture: Heather King

Sixteen-year-old Lirak Hasani could have a big part to play for Doncaster Rovers before the end of the season, boss Grant McCann insists.

The Rovers youth team player was handed his debut off the bench in the 4-0 defeat at Luton Town on Saturday.

Hasani, from Cantley, plays in the deeper lying midfield role where Rovers are short of numbers following the injuries suffered by Ben Whiteman and Herbie Kane.

And following his impressive debut, McCann says he will strongly consider handing the youngster more game time as Rovers look to fight their way back into League One’s top six.

“I didn’t bring him on to give him a debut,” McCann said. “I brought him on because he’s a good player.

“He’s been in and around us, he’s trained with us a lot, he travelled to the last away game at Blackpool.

“It could be an opportunity for him.

“I like bravery and people who are going to get on the ball and not be afraid of making a mistake and that is what he is.

“Lirak has played in that position for the U23s and he’s played against men already this season.

“I was really pleased with him.

“I don’t want to rush him, I don’t want to kill him but we’ll monitor him and see how he’s getting on.”

Hasani impressed in the final 17 minutes with composed passing and intelligent movement that many of his team mates had failed to demonstrate throughout a thoroughly disappointing afternoon.

The former Bessacarr Juniors player lost possession after receiving the ball from Marko Marosi, which led to Luton Town’s fourth but McCann was more impressed with the intent shown rather than disappointed with the mistake made.

“He’s a 16-year-old kid and he came on and showed real composure,” McCann said.

“He wanted to get on the ball. He must have had it six or seven times and just kept it simple and move it.

“He played a lovely pass into Marquis into his feet and I didn’t see that all game from some of the boys that have played 300-odd games.

“That was the most worrying thing for me.

Whiteman will be out of action for three to four weeks after suffering ankle ligament damage during the draw with Barnsley last week.

And Kane is set to miss six weeks after suffering a tear to his groin.