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Round-up: McCann’s verdict on youngsters, Checkatrade Trophy draw, Rovers beat Leeds U23s

Grant McCann
Grant McCann

Grant McCann says he has been very impressed by Doncaster Rovers’ crop of young players in his short time at the club.

Four Academy players earned senior contracts at the end of last season while McCann has also welcomed other youngsters into training sessions with the first team during pre-season.

Forward Myron Gibbons was particularly impressive during last week’s friendly with Frickley Athletic.

And McCann says the young crop can force their way into his plans if they continue to impress.

But first, he hopes to secure loan deals for them to add to their experience.

“I was really impressed with Cody Prior and James Morris at Frickley,” McCann told The Star.

“I thought Jacob Fletcher stood out at Alfreton but was a little bit slower with his play at Frickley. He is a very good player.

“Young Shane Blaney has done really well and Myron was brilliant.

“I’m really pleased with them.

“We’ll be looking over the next few weeks to get them some men’s football I think.

“I think it’s import they go out and experience that but also be available to train with us.

“And they’ll play in Under 23s games if and when need be.”

Rovers’ youngsters seem likely to be given the opportunity for senior game time in this season’s Checkatrade Trophy.

Rovers have been drawn in a group alongside Grimsby Town and Notts County, and will be joined by one of the 16 invited U23 teams from clubs with Category 1 Academies. The draw will take place on Wednesday.

Rovers secured a 2-0 win in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Leeds United U23s at Cantley Park on Saturday.

Alfie May and Andy Butler scored the goals, with half the Rovers squad featuring for 60 minutes.

The side that played the final 30 minutes played another half an hour against Rovers’ U18s side immediately afterwards to ensure all players got the same number of minutes.

James Coppinger did not feature as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury but is likely to make his return against Birmingham City on Friday night.