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Academy

Youngsters earn Real experience

The Rovers Academy lads are out in Madrid for a two-week camp, and we caught up with Academy chief Stuart Jones

5 August 2019

It's not often you see Rovers and Real Madrid mentioned in the same breath...

But our Under-18s squad are currently in Madrid rubbing shoulders with one of the most iconic clubs in world football.

In the middle of a two-week stay in the Spanish capital, Rovers are working close to footballing heavyweights Real Madrid, which has been supported by the League Football Education's Erasmus Fund.

So we caught up with the Rovers Head of Academy, Stuart Jones, to get the lowdown on the stint abroad and the benefits of heading overseas for the camp.

"The trip consists of training every day, taking cultural visits and Spanish lessons, and then playing games against local sides," Jones revealed.

"We finish the trip with the amazing opportunity to play at Real Madrid’s training ground against their Under-18s, which is great for the lads to experience that.

"I’m going across to meet the Real Madrid Academy Director this week and it’s a fantastic link to have with one of the greatest clubs in the world.

"A lot of our teams in the Academy go overseas at the end of a season because we feel it’s really important for their development.

"It’s about coming up against different opponents with different styles and other ways of playing. It’s exciting for the boys and good for them to see how other teams play," he added.

And whilst it's important for the players to learn more from the experience, Jones believes it'll also be hugely valuable to the coaches, too.

Academy pair Billy Barr and Mike Sheron are part of the contingent in Madrid, alongside Rovers' Head of Academy Coaching, Tony Carss.

"It’s important as part of their education that they’re spending time with Spanish coaches," Jones explained.

"Having a look around the Real Madrid academy and speaking to the coaches and see how they work, it’s great for our own coaches."


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