Andy Butler talks Liam Ravenhill after week of debuts with Doncaster Rovers
Andy Butler believes Liam Ravenhill will have benefited greatly from his spell in the Doncaster Rovers side over the last week.
Ravenhill - who has joined up with Northern Ireland U21s for the second successive international window - made his debut off the bench in last Saturday’s FA Cup tie at FC United of Manchester.
And he made his full debut four days later in the Papa John’s Trophy defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers U21s.
The 17-year-old son of former Rovers midfielder Ricky Ravenhill has been highly rated by coaches at the club for several years and is expected to pen full professional terms in the coming months.
And temporary boss Andy Butler believes his progression will only have been aided by his time in the first team.
“Liam has been excellent in training,” he said. “He’s got a really good attitude.
“He plays similarly to his dad. He loves to rat about and get around the ball. Obviously he’s got a bit more quality than his dad.
“He’s done well and it was just nice to give him a chance in front of the cameras last weekend.
“And I thought Liam did okay on Tuesday.
“He’s a good lad, he’s learning. He tired towards the end, which we knew he would do because he’s not played as many games.
“I thought he did well and it’s nice to see him on the pitch.
“It was a big test for him, against quality players. It’ll have done him good.
“We’ll sit down with him, the gaffer and Sivvy [Jamie Smith] and we’ll see where he can improve and how we can help him and where he can pick up pockets of space differently.”
Ravenhill could win his first cap for Northern Ireland U21s in Tuesday’s European Championship qualifier against Ukraine.
Elsewhere, Rovers loanee Matt Smith played the opening 45 minutes of Wales’ goalless draw with the United States on Thursday night.
The 20-year-old won his 12th senior cap in the game and could feature in Nations League matches against Republic of Ireland and Finland on Sunday and Wednesday respectively.
England U21, whom goalkeeper Josef Bursik has joined up with, host Andorra tonight.