A trio of promising Rovers youngsters have all signed their first professional contracts with the club.
Defenders Josh Askew and Lewis Travis and forward Ramirez Howarth have put pen-to-paper on one-year deals through to the summer of 2017.
A committed left-back, who uses his pace to get forward and has the ability to deliver dangerous balls into the box, Askew showed this to good effect in the FA Youth Cup semi-final against Chelsea when he supplied a superb cross for Lewis Mansell to head home.
The 18-year-old enjoyed an impressive second season with the Academy, making 21 starts in all competitions for the Under-18s, as well as 10 league starts for the Under-21s, who reached the Division 2 play-offs.
Fellow full-back Travis, who operates on the opposite flank, joined from Liverpool midway through the 2014-15 season and combines great technical ability with a fantastic attitude to succeed.
A regular for the Under-18s last season, Travis started 21 Academy League games and two in the FA Youth Cup, including the semi-final second leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. He also made the step up to the Under-21s, starting five league games for Damien Johnson’s side.
A versatile forward, who can play through the middle or out wide, Howarth is a tireless worker, who has a keen eye for goal.
After a steady first season with the Academy, ‘Remy’ really kicked on last season, scoring three goals in 24 league starts for the Under-18s, as well as starting five games in the successful FA Youth Cup run to the semi-final stage.
The trio follow in the footsteps of team-mates Ryan Nyambe, Scott Wharton, Willem Tomlinson, Lewis Mansell, Matthew Platt, Lewis Hardcastle and Andy Fisher – taking the tally of second year scholars to sign pro deals into double figures.
Rovers’ Head of Academy, Eric Kinder, said: “Gradually, what we’ve done over the course of the season, is when we felt it was right to upgrade the scholars’ contracts we have done and these three lads had to wait a little longer and show us that they were worth it.
“It was the right thing to do for their own development, but they came through that and I’m absolutely delighted that they’ve signed. This tops off a fantastic intake from this year’s scholars.
“With Connor (Mahoney) doing so well, it didn’t allow Remy a chance to play, but everybody else could probably class themselves as a regular member of the Under-21s, so they thoroughly deserve their contracts, because they’ve proved that they can play at the next level in their careers.”