Dale’s youth team are involved in a tournament at Carrington today (Wednesday) – a highlight of the pre-season calendar.
They’ll take on Manchester United, Oldham Athletic and Tranmere Rovers in the behind closed doors event.
Head of Academy Coaching, Rick Ashcroft, is looking forward to the day ahead.
“It’s a brilliant day. We play three half hour games and they’re always really enjoyable for the lads. There’s a different environment down at Carrington and it’s something the lads always look forward to. It’ll be a good test for them.”
Dale head into the tournament on the back of last Wednesday’s pre-season friendly against New Mills AFC’s first team.
The non-league side fielded a team which had a wide age range, from teenagers through to players in their 20s and 30s.
Rick says it proved to be a good test for his young players.
“That game was a different test and challenge and I think that’s really important for the boys and their development.
“They can play all the different types of teams and different scenarios, but when they’re up against that kind of opposition and that kind of age span, it’s the same as being with the first team players. You’re also facing a different type of football as well, which is important.
“For us, it was a brilliant tool for seeing a little bit of the boys’ character, seeing how they respond to a little bit of a different type of football and a different type of threat. It confirmed a few things that we knew, threw up a few things that we need to work on and exposed a few of our weaknesses that we can get better at, but also the strengths, so it was a really good evening.”