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Cash: Producing young players our target

Ellie Cash explains the thinking behind Rovers Ladies' new bespoke player programme

29 October 2020

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Rovers Ladies coach Ellie Cash believes the Club's player pathway system will lead to more young talent reaching the first-team.

Rovers decided not to field a Development Team in the FA Women's National League Reserve Northern Division for 2020-21, after being crowned champions for the last three seasons the league has been completed. 

Instead, the Club opted to create a new player pathway development scheme, which is designed to help more Regional Talent Club graduates be better prepared for first-team action, by providing experience on loan at clubs in the National League pyramid. 

"It's to bridge the gap between the players coming out of the RTC and making that impact when they eventually get the chance to go into the first-team," Cash, who previously managed the Development Squad, explained. 

"We were in the Development League for quite a few seasons and once the first team got promoted into the Championship, we just felt like that gap was getting a little bit bigger. 

"When players were getting the opportunity to step into that first-team, we found they lacked the exposure of more physicality and the open age first-team football. 

"Great, technical players but it was just that strength, that awareness, that game management. So now it's an opportunity for them to get that first-team experience. 

"We thought, if we're able to keep them so that we can have contact time with them at training and develop them the best we can, but then they also get that opportunity to play first-team football."

Three players - Katie Haydock, Ellie Parkinson and Kira Boswell are currently on loan at Fleetwood Town Wrens, while Lara Beeley, Carra Jones and Emma Bradley joined Chorley Women. 

"We've got a really good relationship with Fleetwood so they are able to get that contact time there having come out of the RTC," Cash continued.

"They are training there at the moment and we're having a lot of feedback between their manager and the Club and us as well just to get the experience. 

"Both Lara (Beeley) and Carra (Jones) have had exposure to and played in our first-team, but are not quite there yet so they've been at Chorley.

"Along with Emma Bradley, who was previously at Manchester City and our RTC before that, to give them that game time.

"It's not just about getting the game time, they'll be able to socially develop in an environment that they are not necessarily used to."

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has meant the loanees are currently unable to train back at Rovers, they are still reaping the benefits of experiencing a first-team environment, while Cash is provided with regular reports on their progress.

She added: "With the feedback I'm getting from the Clubs and also from the players, it will then be able to lead us into being able to review them at Christmas time, see where they are at and go from there.

"From what I've heard so far, the players are doing really well at the clubs and it's been a great start to this new bespoke player pathway programme that we're undertaking.

"It's a bit difficult under these circumstances, it's that restriction of them not coming into our environment and going back there. 

"So at this moment in time that is maybe hindered a little bit, but I'm sure eventually we'll get back on the right track and they'll be able to make their way into the first-team or make some sort of an impact."

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