New kids on the block

For the future: Doncaster Rovers' seven new youth players take a seat in the stand.           Picture: Steve Uttley
For the future: Doncaster Rovers' seven new youth players take a seat in the stand. Picture: Steve Uttley
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DONCASTER Rovers’ newest batch of Youth team players will be looking to buck the recent trend.

None of last year’s squad succeeded in winning themselves a senior contract with Sean O’Driscoll’s Championship side - though several did appear on the bench during Rovers’ injury-hit campaign.

Only striker Waide Fairhurst - yet to establish himself in the club’s starting line-up - has won himself a second contract after signing an initial one-year professional contract since the club were promoted back to the Football League in 2003.

Rovers announced the signing of seven new Youth team first-year apprentices late last week.

Six of the players are products of the club’s Cantley Park-based Centre of Excellence, which is partly funded by fans who are members of the Doncaster Alliance.

The other is Evan Finnegan, who has been playing for Dublin-based Home Farm.

As part of their two-year contract they must undertake a Level 3 in Achieving Excellence in Sports Performance and a technical certificate in conjunction with Doncaster College and League Football Education (LFE).

LFE manage the educational programme for apprentices at Football League clubs over a two-year period which provides a co-ordinated and streamlined approach to the delivery of education.

The Youth team will again play in the Football League Youth Alliance League North East Conference next season.The Youth team, along with the club’s Under 16s side, will be travelling to Sweden again in July to take part in the prestigious Gothia Cup in Gothenburg.