Home-grown youngsters

Boz

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For the first-time in years, Rovers didn't give a debut to a home-grown player during this season. Brabin and Palios' mentality seems to be that they're better off getting playing time lower down the pyramid [while we're fielding a team of players who've done it all before, some of whom only seem interested in collecting their pay-check]

I'd be interested in hearing which youngsters, if any, your side has given debuts to during the course of the season, how they did and if they look like making a decent career of it.
 

Monkey Tennis

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We don't have a reserve team, so any locals are usually signed on their way down the leagues. Our manager signed a bunch of local teenagers in the summer but only Elliott Newby had a run of games. His twin, Alex, played once and the other two I think only played in the county cup.
I think we'll create a reserves from our next batch of under 18s, but until then we'll not have many players come up into the first team.
 

PaulHaddock

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We haven't had one be kept on for more than a year in 4 years? Last was Dayle Southwell I think. We did give a first year a 2 year contract this year but there's no signs of the two youths deals being extended as they've had about 2 appearances combined.

Josh Venney has looked very good whenever I've seen him, though he is tiny. Not certain how well he's suited to this league but I'd like to keep him on.
 

Chris FGR

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We started Joe Stokes, an 18 year old centre mid and our youth team captain yesterday. Earlier in the season we gave starts to first year pros Aden Baldwin (cb) and Louis McGrory (cm) in the FA Trophy. Baldwin has since gone to Bristol City for an undisclosed fee. McGrory is on loan at Aldershot.

Stokes didn't look out of place at all yesterday, physically he looked strong enough and he got stuck in. Expect both him and McGrory to feature a fair bit in our first team next season, and there are several more coming through apparently.

Running a full time academy set up is starting to pay dividends.
 

Greenacres

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Stokes didn't look out of place at all yesterday, physically he looked strong enough and he got stuck in. Expect both him and McGrory to feature a fair bit in our first team next season, and there are several more coming through apparently.

Running a full time academy set up is starting to pay dividends.

Giancarlo Gabbiadini has been scoring goals for fun this season, apparently he is related to Marco and Riccardo who had decent careers in the game, he is rated as a hot prospect.

I remembered seeing a clip containing a couple of his goals and managed to find it, they are around the 50 seconds and 4 minutes 50 seconds mark:

 
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Luke Imp

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We've had 4 this season I think - Simmons, Robinson, Everington and Wright.

Not 100% whether we've seen Wright as he's only a first year pro. Robinson has been around the first time since he was about 17, so for 4 years, and he's not really progressed and will more than likely be released in the summer along with Everington (maybe 10 or so appearances this season).

Simmons is 18 and is the best of the lot and probably made 15 odd appearances.

Grant (1 appearance) and Hodge (less than 10) are two other young lads (19) who are in the first team squad but not come through our system.

Problem we have, like others, is that our squad now isn't big enough to warrant an U21 side nor do we have the finances to be able to run one. Therefore, trying to bridge the U18 to first team gap is problematic. We generally see most of them spend months out at Trinity, Boston, Spading, Lincoln United.
 

East Bank Shot

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None for us once again and can't remember the last time we gave a home-grown youngster a proper chance in the side. The last player who we did bring through was Adam Mekki but since coming down to the conference we haven't given our youth a chance at all.
 

Andy Harrier

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Dan Sweeney, George Taylor and Tyrone Williams for us this season. Williams has looked okay since breaking in in January, I think he could be a decent defender in time and Sweeney looks very good based on his four appearances. Taylor has only made one substitute appearance so can't judge him.

The big plus for our academy graduates was selling Luke Maxwell to Birmingham City in January. Gary Rowett has said he could potentially be used in the first team next season which would bring in some cash for us.
 

EnglishRed

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Rob Evans played 40 or so gmes for us this year, although he's been around the first team for a couple of seasons now so didn't debut this year.

We did give a few minutes to a young player called Johnny Smith, who has been described as 'The next Bale'. I'm not sure who described him as that though. He did look quick and fairly promising. Hopefully we get to see more of him next season.

A discussion about the lack of opportunities for our young players is ongoing on our forum actually. There is a school of thought that Mills is 'anti- youth'.

One of our academy graduates, Danny Ward, played in goal for Liverpool today. There is a good chance he's going to the Euros with Wales. He was sold before making his league debut for us (I think he got a solitary FAT appearance for the for the first team) a few years back.
 

Railway Blue

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Sam Hughes was eventually given a debut by Burr and has been a revelation. Scored a couple in our 8-2 over Aldershot. Should be even better next season. Played about 10 games, but should have been in from the off. Since Burr was shown the door we've lost 1-2 at Lincoln, beaten Welling 4-0 (h), beaten Grimsby (a) 2-1 and Gateshead 4-2 (h). Thank God Burr was sacked when he was as we'd have gone down without that.
 

Bluandwite

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Sam Hughes was eventually given a debut by Burr and has been a revelation. Scored a couple in our 8-2 over Aldershot. Should be even better next season. Played about 10 games, but should have been in from the off. Since Burr was shown the door we've lost 1-2 at Lincoln, beaten Welling 4-0 (h), beaten Grimsby (a) 2-1 and Gateshead 4-2 (h). Thank God Burr was sacked when he was as we'd have gone down without that.
We'd have stayed up with Burr in charge, we'd have beaten Welling still as they were desperate and that would have been enough checking the table.

Back to the point of Sam Hughes though, can't wait to see more of him next season in a more balanced side. Felt sorry for him recently being played pretty much everywhere.
 

yellow

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Dan Lavercombe was first choice keeper for a fair chunk of this season, and earned a move to Wigan in January. Sam Chaney has also emerged in recent weeks, featuring in a few games in our turnaround.
 

Railway Blue

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We'd have stayed up with Burr in charge, we'd have beaten Welling still as they were desperate and that would have been enough checking the table.

Back to the point of Sam Hughes though, can't wait to see more of him next season in a more balanced side. Felt sorry for him recently being played pretty much everywhere.

The way we were playing under Burr how can you say that we'd have beaten Welling. By no means a shoe-in. In the 5 previous games against Welling since we got into National League we managed a solitary win against them.
 

Bluandwite

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The way we were playing under Burr how can you say that we'd have beaten Welling. By no means a shoe-in. In the 5 previous games against Welling since we got into National League we managed a solitary win against them.
Means nothing that, on the day Welling were absolutely dreadful. We'd have still won.
 

Blue Lion

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I don't think we had any new home-grown players this season. Kristian Dennis is the obvious former youth player who is now playing well in the first team (although only on loan). Dan Cowan made his first appearance a couple of years back and is our regular back up defender, and he did well on Saturday at Halifax coming on as a sub by all accounts. I'd be happy to see him as our first choice right back next season. We've had a deal with Stoke City recently where they use our ground for U21 matches and we get some of their youngsters on loan. Alex Grant was the biggest hit last season and has now moved out to play in the Aussie premier division.
 

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