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Shez's season reflections

“They’ve progressed really well though, we’ve changed the team once or twice and have included some Under-16s along the way"

31 July 2020

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Reflecting on the season so far, Under-18s chief Mike Sheron says he's been pleased with the progress and development of his side during the 2019-20 campaign.

In Sheron's first term in the role, after stepping up to fill the boots of Billy Barr, Rovers have certainly showed their talent, particularly in the FA Youth Cup.

Sheron's side stormed into the semi-finals of the competition having thrashed Arsenal in the last round of the tournament just before football's suspension.

The victory over the Gunners followed on from seeing off Preston North End, Charlton Athletic and Newport County at Ewood Park.

Domestically, the youngsters had won four games of their opening 15 league games before the season came to an abrupt halt, but Sheron admits there are plenty of reasons to be cheerful when he looks back on the campaign.

“I’ve really enjoyed the season to be honest and I’m really grateful to have been given the opportunity," he began.

“I’ve worked with some of the lads for quite a while and this is my fifth season with the club now, which I think generates a bit of trust.

“It was very beneficial from my point of view to continue working with players who I’ve known for quite a while.

“It has been difficult within the games programmes at the weekends because we struggled for quite a bit. We’ve been competitive this season in the league, even though we’ve not won as many games as we’d have liked.

“They’ve progressed really well though, we’ve changed the team once or twice and have included some Under-16s along the way.

“The development in the Youth Cup has been particularly impressive.”

Some eye-catching displays have been rewarded too, with a number of the boys stepping up to play a part for the Under-23s on occasions.

The likes of Dan Pike, Luke Brennan and Zak Gilsenan have all featured for the Development Squad, and Sheron believes the experience of jumping up a level will stand them in good stead both on and off the pitch.

“These lads have been through a lot during their time with the club, they’ve had some tough days, playing against the Manchester City, the Liverpools,” he added.

“This is a group of lads who have played a lot of games together and they’ve all committed to getting better on and off the pitch.

“They’ve had good days and bad days, but ultimately we want them developing."

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