Doncaster Rovers chief Grant McCann heaps praise on his impressive young guns

Doncaster Rovers chief Grant McCann heaped praise on his young guns after several of them caught the eye on their first starts under him.
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Striker Jack Goodman, winger Tavonga Kuleya and centre-back Will Flint were among eight changes to the starting XI for Doncaster’s EFL Trophy clash at Mansfield Town on Tuesday night.

Goodman, 18, was a prolific goalscorer for Doncaster’s under-18s but his wait for a first senior goal for the club goes on.

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He cut a frustrated figure after missing a hat-trick of chances to score on his thirteenth first-team appearance for Rovers, who were beaten 3-2.

Doncaster Rovers' Jack Goodman despairs after a missed shot against Mansfield.Doncaster Rovers' Jack Goodman despairs after a missed shot against Mansfield.
Doncaster Rovers' Jack Goodman despairs after a missed shot against Mansfield.

McCann said: “He was a bit gutted afterwards because he’s a very good finisher and he’s gutted that he never took one of those chances.

“But I’m more pleased he’s in the area in the first place.”

Second-year scholar and youth team captain Flint, who is currently considering the offer of a professional contract from the club, made his senior debut at Field Mill, aged 17 and ten months.

McCann said: “It was a big test for him.

"He struggled a bit earlier on in the game and he was finding his feet but he grew into it and he was magnificent towards the end.

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“Marauding forward, calm with the ball at his feet, defending, making blocks in the box - he was excellent.”

Flint’s technical ability means he is also capable of playing in central midfield, where he has featured for Doncaster’s under-18 side.

Second year pro Kuleya, 19, had just returned from a month’s loan with eight-tier side Sheffield FC, where me made four appearances.

McCann said: “His energy was excellent, he was everywhere.”