Last night, the U15s completed their last fixture in the Premier League Floodlit Cup but despite a 2-1 victory over Reading, the result was not enough to see Rovers qualify for the knock-out stages.
The competition saw the twenty-four Category 1 clubs across the country joined by eight other clubs from Category 2 & 3, with Rovers being one of only two Category 3 clubs to have reached the main competition, after topping their qualifying group which involved AFC Bournemouth, MK Dons and QPR. The format was a Champions League style cup with eight groups of four teams, with a game being played on a home and away basis, midweek under floodlights.
“The competition see’s our players pitted against the best in the region and the performances largely were competitive, showing that there are quality players outside of the Premier League Academy structures," commented Academy Manager Jonathan Henderson.
“It provided our players with a superb developmental experience of playing not only competitive football, but also the experience of playing at non-league grounds under floodlights in front of a crowd which is something that they are rarely exposed to in the traditional Academy system. This is something we are keen to expose the players to, and was also the rationale behind the implementation of the South West Academies Floodlit Cup that we had created in the region for the U15s and U16s teams this season”
“Whilst it would have been great to have progressed in this competition, we cannot deny how much of an achievement even reaching this stage of the competition is for us as an Academy and how well the players and staff have done throughout the campaign.”
"Swansea City and Reading both progress from the group and will play the top two from a group containing West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea, Fulham and Birmingham City. We wish both Swansea and Reading the best for the rest of the competition."