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Club News

Academy Youngsters Shining Bright In First Team Environment

30 December 2017

Two of Dale’s rising young stars are continuing to impress, with Daniel Adshead and Luke Matheson gaining valuable first team experience.

16-year-old Adshead, who had already featured in all four of Rochdale’s Checkatrade Trophy fixtures this season, made his EFL debut on Friday night, coming on as a second half substitute against Doncaster Rovers at the Keepmoat Stadium.

And it looks like the midfielder has earned the chance of more game time, although Hill may be reluctant to use him while Dale are in the fight to get out of the bottom four.  

“Dan has deserved the opportunity,” said Hill.

“The conundrum I’m setting myself at the minute is that he deserves to play, but do I expose him in the home game against Blackpool?

“It could get rocky and I don’t know if it’s right to expose him to that, when we’ve got more experienced players who might be ducking and diving.”

Matheson, meanwhile, who is just 15-years-old, has been training with the first team during the Christmas break.

The talented right-back has impressed all season while playing up two age groups for the Youth Team and he has made a positive impact while in the first team environment.

“Luke is off school for Christmas and we’re using the opportunity to integrate him into the first team environment. He’s only just turned 15 but he’s training with the first team as Dan did, and we’re trying to map the same path of success as we did with Dan.

“He’s travelling to the games and he’s training with us, but at this moment in time because of his age, he can’t be part of a first team squad. The players are getting used to him being on the training pitch and he’s certainly not diluting training.

“It’s special when you see the excitement in his eyes and I’m willing to persevere with those players. I’ve said to the players that I’d prefer to give good players who have the right ingredients every opportunity to represent me and this football club because they won’t let me down.”

Watch the full interview on iFollow. 


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