Doncaster Rovers: Why Premier League clubs are playing an increasingly important role in Rovers' Academy recruitment

Doncaster Rovers are seeking to pick up youngsters packed with potential that have been cast-off by Premier League sides as the club seeks to bolster their Academy set-up.

By Liam Hoden
Monday, 11th November 2019, 6:00 am
Harrison Myring joined Rovers on a short term deal
Harrison Myring joined Rovers on a short term deal

Chief executive Gavin Baldwin revealed the latest area of focus in the on-going development of the age group system at the club.

Former Leicester City striker Harrison Myring - who last week penned a short term deal until January - is a prime example of Rovers spreading their recruitment hunt beyond the local area.

And Baldwin says the ultimate goal is for the first team manager to be able to call upon a youngster for every position whenever needed.

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"We're starting to recruit from Doncaster being the primary focus but there's players being recruited from Premier League clubs that maybe haven't made it with those clubs," Baldwin told the Free Press.

"These players are coming into the U23s, the Academy. And there is a focus on making the teams as good as possible

"We have got a succession with every team from U9s all the way through so we can see if we've got a good right back coming through for example.

"And if we haven't then we'll go and recruit one.

"Darren [Moore] will use the first team as his starting point and say 'in two years we'll need a right back, have I got one in the development group or the U23s?'

"We want him to think 'I should have one to choose from at least and I may bring someone in externally but my first point of call should be there.'

"It's very much more scientific now in terms of the Academy and U23s.

"In the past, if we didn;t have a good enough player from Doncaster we probably didn't have a good enough player.

"Where Darren has changed that and worked with the board is to say let's go and talk to the Premier League team, see if they've got someone who can't quite make it, we'll take them on and give them a chance to make it in football.

"Therefore the standard of the U23s is going up."

Baldwin believes manager Moore is the perfect man to guide the development of the club's U23 group and below, due to his former roles with such age groups at previous employers West Bromwich Albion.

And he says Moore recognises the importance of a strong Academy set up for the future.

"With his background at West Brom, he's been very thoughtful about what a good Academy can do for the first team.

"He's obviously doing it for the lads' development but also to give him the first team that he wants.

"It's completely different.

"We've spent more money on the players in the development team.

"Darren will coach them himself on a Monday, which is a massive boost for them. And they've got more hours on the training ground with Gary McSheffrey specifically training them.

"We're supporting them with a nutritionist, a sports scientist.

"They've got every chance of being a first team player.

"Darren believes now that if they don't make it to the first team, they're probably not good enough to make it to the first team, not that they didn't have the opportunity."