Doncaster Rovers: Senior players and staff ‘have played big role in development of youth’
Doncaster Rovers Academy boss Tony Cook says the constant interaction between senior players and staff and the club’s Under 18s set-up has helped push the development of youngsters.
Rovers confirmed on Friday that defender Branden Horton, midfielder AJ Greaves and forwards Myron Gibbons and Rieves Boocock had signed first year professional contracts.
And Cook believes consistent feedback from coaching staff and senior players at Cantley Park has helped all four progress this season.
“The players have such a unique environment here and the U18s are in front of the first team management staff every day so the staff are aware of the players and the players are interacting with the first team,” Cook said.
“They can learn from experiences professionals such as Andy Butler, Tommy Rowe and James Coppinger.”
All four players have been included in matchday squads this season with Boocock making his senior debut off the bench in the win at Gillingham – a game for which Gibbons was also named among the substitutes.
Horton played in Rovers’ first two Checkatrade Trophy games this season while Greaves has been on the bench five times this term.
Cook said: “All four have been included in first team squads this season which just proves the club’s intention to give opportunities for a clear pathway and that has been facilitated by the first team manager, Grant McCann, who is a big advocate of young players.
“If they’re good enough, Grant will give them an opportunity and he’s always looking to pull from the resources of our vibrant Academy.”