Ciaran Toner and Jake Henry talk to www.themillers.co.uk...
Rotherham United’s Academy enjoyed a positive result in midweek as they travelled to Derby County for a friendly fixture in the Under 15’s age group.
The Millers’ youngsters made the journey to the Category One Academy at Moor Farm Training Facility for a game outside of their usual programme, which saw them record a 3-0 win against one of the region’s most prestigious youth setups.
Lead Youth Development Phase Coach Ciaran Toner and Lead Youth Foundation Phase Coach Jake Henry made the trip to Derbyshire on Wednesday night and were delighted with the outcome of a fixture that provided them with a different test.
“We played Derby’s Under 15's in a friendly on Wednesday night which was a game arranged by Jake Henry with his contacts there,” Ciaran told www.themillers.co.uk.
“We thought it would be good experience for the players and give us something a bit different to the games programme that we normally have. It was a different opposition and challenge to what we're used to coming up against.
“It was a real good experience for everybody, from the coaches to the players themselves. It's a really good setting and it gives our players a sense of other environments and clubs and the different levels.”
The Millers led the friendly fixture 1-0 at half time before going on to add two more to their tally following the restart and the Millers’ Academy pair were pleased with a number of aspects of their side’s performance on the night.
“The pleasing thing for us was that the things that we've worked on in training were in evidence. I would have expected Derby to have the majority of the play, but looking back I wouldn't say that they did,” Ciaran continued.
“All round we knew Derby were going to be a good technical side, but I think on reflection they would have been used to playing opposition more focused on possession, rather than to go forward and be direct.
“The Under 15’s been up and down in their games programme and I think the best way to describe their form would be inconsistent. However, that's what we expect at those ages so the game at Derby provided them with a platform to show why they should be here again next year and their aims should be on trying to get a scholarship with the Football Club.
“We already have two in there that have scholarships for next year, so it was important for them to stand out, which they did.”
The pair finished by expressing their thanks to their hosts in midweek, who facilitated the game and provided coaches, players and parents alike with a fantastic experience.
“We'd like to place on record our thanks to Derby County for staging the game. They were really good hosts and made us feel very welcome from the minute we arrived,” the pair added.
“It was a really good experience for them and it made the effort from the player and parents that helped us facilitate the game really worthwhile.
“It's up to the lads now to understand that consistency is going to be the key word of developing as an individual within the framework of the team."