Rotherham United Academy have enjoyed a positive start to their 2020/21 campaign, as standards continue to improve across all age groups heading into the New Year.
The Millers under 16’s secured a convincing victory over Bradford City, which saw them head into 2021 sitting top of their league.
The age group has also been boosted by six new arrivals, with Adam Clark the latest, joining from Leicester City.
The Academy are also excited to announce the additions of defenders Archie Day and Will Jenkinson, alongside midfielder Jack Champion, winger Zach Bond and goalkeeper Nathanial Ford.
Ford and Clark both appeared on the bench as the under 18’s faced Arsenal in the third round of the FA Youth Cup at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
The young guns were desperately unfortunate, as they were edged out by the Gunners on home soil, despite pushing the Premier League academy all the way.
The Londoners took the lead through a wonder strike from Charlie Patino, but the Millers battled their way back into the game, winning a penalty which was converted by skipper Jerome Greaves.
A brave performance from Rob Poulter’s youngsters deserved more than the cruel manner in which they were defeated as Mazeed Ogungbo headed home an 88th minute winner, after a hotly-contested affair between the two sides played out at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
Following the clash, Rotherham United Lead Professional Development Phase Coach Rob Poulter was justly proud of the performance from the youngsters.
“We’ve given them a really good game and they’ve gone off at the end delighted with their victory and that shows you how far we’ve come,” he explained.
“The lads gave an absolutely monumental effort tonight, even the ones that didn’t get on. I know we’ve lost but I can’t be prouder after that tonight, I thought we were brilliant.
“It’s taken a worldy to break us down, sometimes you have to take your hat off to quality, but in terms of our lads we’ve put a lot in on the training pitch and it has shown tonight.
“The lads are gutted we lost 2-1 to Arsenal and I think that says everything.”
The Academy are also delighted to announce the addition of 10 new scouts, who will focus on assessing the Rotherham area, primarily between the ages of nine and 15.