Three new Doncaster Rovers scholars get stamp of approval from club legend
Three of Doncaster Rovers’ newest scholars have received the seal of approval from club legend Paul Green.
Tom Parkinson, Alex Fletcher and Josh Lindley have all been offered scholarships with Rovers this year after coming through Green’s A1 Football Factory in Pontefract.
And all three are looking to follow in the midfielder’s footsteps by reaching the first team.
Green joined Rovers as a 16-year-old and made his senior debut at 18. He went on to make more than 270 appearances, winning promotion from the Conference right through to the Championship in a five-year period.
And he has high hopes for the futures of the young trio.
“They’re all really good lads who have worked hard to get to this point,” Green told the Free Press.
“The real work starts now for them as they look to push on towards senior level. They have to knuckle down if they are going to have a chance of making it.
“They’re three good players who have dedicated themselves and I really hope it happens for them in the future.
“It means an awful lot for me to see three lads that I’ve known and worked with for such a long time to be getting this big opportunity at a club that is so close to my heart and one where I came through on a similar path to what they’ve got in front of them now.
“And I’m proud that they’ve come through the Football Factory and used their coaching to get themselves to this point.”
Green will continue to work with the trio individually on a weekly basis with strength and conditioning sessions, as he has done since they signed schoolboy terms.
Full back Parkinson, 16, is currently studying at Snaith High School near Goole.
Winger Fletcher, 15, has been on Rovers’ books since U9 level, having previously had trials with Manchester City through Green’s academy. His is a pupil at Kings High School in Pontefract.
His dad Richard said: “Paul has been an excellent role model for Alex and he continues to learn from him through his weekly strength and conditioning sessions.
“Paul is still close to Alex, mentoring him and providing advice where needed.”
Midfielder Lindley, 16, studies at St Wilfred’s Catholic High School in Featherstone. He was previously in the Barnsley academy and signed for Rovers in 2019.
His relationship with Green’s academy is long-standing, having attended holiday clubs and birthday parties there alongside his coaching.
Green operates A1 Football Factory in his hometown of Pontefract from an indoor football centre which he owns and developed.
The facility has three state of the art football pitches and a training gym as well as a children’s soft play, licensed bar and cafe plus party and meeting rooms.
The 37-year-old former Republic of Ireland international leads coaching within the centre and also out in the local community, from toddlers through to senior level.
Green said: “Our coaching programme also bridges the gap between local grassroots football and professional academies because we offer a professional level of coaching to those that may not always be given the opportunity.”
Green was playing for National League North side Boston United this season until the competition was halted last month.