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Development Squad

High hopes for the future

Jake Garrett hopes he will be the next off the Academy conveyor belt to work his way into the first team ranks

16 March 2020

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Jake Garrett may have only just turned 17, but the talented teenager says he's keen to be part of the Development Squad's pre-season plans.

The defender is currently injured, but is highly-regarded at Rovers and penned a first professional contract with the club on Friday.

Garrett, who has represented England at Under-15s and Under-16s level, will now remain at Ewood Park until the summer of 2022.

Such is his promise, he's already featured for the Under-23s in his young career, making his debut in the Premier League Cup last 16 victory away at Stoke City in March 2019.

“I’ve been out for quite a while now, so the aim is to get back playing, get in the Under-23s team and push on from there," he told iFollow Rovers when looking back on his 2019-20 campaign so far.

“Sat in the physio room and watching the boys going out to train, it makes you hungrier to get back out there. Step by step, the aim is to come back stronger.

“Hopefully I’ll be back out on the pitch in a few weeks time and to get some games in before the end of the campaign.

“I want to make sure that I’m ready to go for pre-season. I’ve missed out on a lot this season, so pre-season’s a perfect chance to get right in with all the lads again and show what I’m all about.

“I’ve been dreaming of becoming a professional footballer for Rovers ever since I arrived here, so it’s about grabbing the opportunities from now on.”

Like Garrett, a number of the current first team squad have all spent time in the Rovers Academy before going on to be part of Tony Mowbray's side.

It's been a well-trodden path, with the likes of Darragh Lenihan, Ryan Nyambe, Lewis Travis, John Buckley and Joe Rankin-Costello all coming through, and Garrett wants to follow suit.

“I’ve trained with Joe Rankin-Costello here and he’s someone who I really look up to, so hopefully I can follow the same path as him," he added.

“We have really good players here, so I need to up my game and show what I’m all about to ensure I train with the first team on a regular basis.

“I'm someone who loves a tackle, I’m aggressive and like to get on the ball and make things happen.

“You need to do both jobs as a left back. You need to help in the final third but also get back to do your defensive work as well."

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