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Academy

Billy: It was a great night for the Academy

A proud night for Billy Barr after Joe Grayson and Dan Butterworth made their debuts on Tuesday evening

29 August 2018

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Under-18s chief Billy Barr was a proud man after seeing two more Academy graduates make their first team debuts on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup.

Joe Grayson got the nod from the start against Lincoln City, following in the footsteps of father Simon who appeared 40 times during his three years at Rovers.
 
Dan Butterworth was the second youngster to earn his chance as he came on for Danny Graham with 11 minutes remaining against the Imps.
 
In fact, the pair weren't the only Academy graduates in the squad, with David Raya, Ryan Nyambe and Lewis Travis all starting and Willem Tomlinson also coming off the bench.
 
And Barr was thrilled to see so many youngsters in action at Ewood Park last night.
 
“It’s brilliant. It’s been a great night for the Academy as well as the first team in getting through to the next round," he reflected. 
 
"I think there were six Academy graduates in the squad. You could also include Joe Nuttall in a way, who linked up with our Under-23s at the start of last season.
 
“Now we’re hopeful the next batch, who are in the same group as Joe and Dan can come through and get their taste of first team action.
 
“We have a good group of Under-23s to take that next step into the Rovers first team or to get that experience out on loan at a good level.
 
“The gaffer has shown that he isn’t afraid to give them the chance in the first team and it’s about them impressing him."

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