Rotherham United recently caught with our Lead Foundation Phase Coach Jake Henry, who provided an update on progress with the younger age groups of the Millers’ Academy.
Jake said: “We recently hosted the EFL Outnumbered Festival, which was a tournament for the under 9s. The concept behind the competition ensured that whenever a team went a goal in front, the opposition gained an extra player. The benefits from this are to help players deal with different scenarios they might face as they progress into the older age groups, giving them the opportunity to solve a wide range of problems. We were excellent on the day, and comfortably won the competition which is testament to the players and staff.”
Jake said: “The under 10s also competed in an EFL festival, this time a straightforward format. They did really well, and actually won the group going unbeaten in seven games. We progressed to the final, but just fell short against Notts County in a tight game, but overall I was really pleased with the performances of the players and staff.”
Jake said: “The under 11s and 12s have recently played Nottingham Forest, who are a category 2 academy. We played well in all games, and gained some really nice compliments from the Forest staff. There were a number of games between the two sides, played in a really competitive environment, and we had our fair share of success so it was another great work out for the lads.
“We are also competing in a tournament which will be hosted by Leeds United for the under 10s. If we win this competition, then there is a paid for trip to Italy and a possibility of playing some of the top Italian sides. We will play a variety of clubs of category one and two standard, so we are really looking forward to the challenge.”
Jake said: “We have a really strong group of staff who are moving the academy forward. These individuals are really passionate about youth development, and are dedicated to helping the lads’ progress here at Rotherham United. The foundation phase staff I work with, here go above and beyond their part-time roles, and we really appreciate the fantastic work they do here.”