Doncaster Rovers: ‘It’s a chance to see where I am at’ – Liverpool loanee Herbie Kane on Crystal Palace test and life at the Keepmoat
As the eyes of the footballing world turn to the Keepmoat this weekend, it is safe to suggest which Doncaster Rovers player will take much of the focus.
Herbie Kane’s status as a loanee from Premier League royalty Liverpool guarantees a certain level of attention.
The 20-year-old has already been selected for media duties with the national press on Friday in the build-up to the FA Cup tie with Crystal Palace on Sunday.
But the fact he has flourished and thrived during his time with Rovers makes the attention all the more understandable.
After a minor drop off in form at the turn of the year – certainly by the lofty standards he set over the first half of the season – Kane has been back to his combative, threatening best in recent weeks.
And he capped it with his first goal in ten matches in Rovers' comfortable win over Southend United on Tuesday.
Having never played even a minute of senior football before his arrival at the Keepmoat in August, Kane has now made 36 appearances, scoring seven goals and justifiably secured a position as one of the first names on Grant McCann’s team sheets.
As loan spells go, it has been a particularly successful one.
"I’m enjoying it,” Kane said.
“I’m learning every single day in training and in matches.
“i think I've become more mature. The players that are around me are helping me an awful lot.
"I feel like I’ve improved a lot.”
“I always knew the standard was going to be high.
“They said don't underestimate any league because they have quality players.
“You’re coming up against top, top players that might be coming up to the end of their careers but they've got so much experience.
“It’s been excellent for me.”
The FA Cup has been good for Kane so far. His first goal – two actually – for Rovers came in the first round against Chorley and announced him onto a national stage.
He also netted in the replay as part of a five goals in five games run.
And the competition now presents him with the his first opportunity to test himself against a senior Premier League outfit.
He is almost certain to have a spell in the Championship next season but, given his remarkable progress over the last six months, a top flight career looks likely in his future.
And he is keen to showcase is talent on Sunday.
“It's going to be a massive challenge and I love that,” he said.
“It's a chance to see where I’m at right now and hopefully I can prove myself and get a chance one day.
“We're looking forward to it. It's going to be a tough game but we're confident and we feel we have a chance to win the game.
“It should be a good one.”