The Youth Team coaching staff will use Saturday as an opportunity to integrate players from the Academy’s younger age groups into a session with Dale’s first year scholars.
With no fixture scheduled for Rochdale’s under 18 side this weekend, youngsters from the club’s U14s, U15s and U16s will train with the youth team squad.
Head of Academy Coaching, Rick Ashcroft, explains the importance of making the most of a ‘free’ Saturday.
He told Dale PlayerHD: “It [having no game] gives us a chance get some of the younger lads in to train with us and to look at some of the lads who we’re considering for scholarships at this moment in time.
“It’s a chance for us to integrate them with the first years so we’ll be having an in-house game on Saturday. The second years will be in the gym and working while we get a look at the next three years’ cycle.
We’ve already done that once previously this season, and it’ll happen again in terms of games before the end of the season.
“It’s actually really important that you make the most of these games and sessions. It’s good watching the lads but it’s better actually getting them in the youth team environment and seeing how they act and how they respond, as well as seeing what their character and quality is like.
“It gives you a little inkling about the next three year cycle that you’ve got coming behind, which is quite pleasing.
“In terms of them, it lets them see what we want and what the demands are. Those younger boys actually have a first-hand tangible touch of what they should get to, what the standard looks like, what the quality looks like and what a youth team is.
“And that’s where we’re hoping the youth team players will bring and show the younger boys what it’s about. They’ve then actually got something visual to aim for and a target to set for themselves to get there.
“There’s also the social side of it, the getting to know each other for the future as well.”
The full interview is on Dale PlayerHD.