Rotherham United Academy Manager Richard Hairyes is full of optimsim ahead of the ucpoming 2023/24 Youth Alliance campaign.
The U18s have make positive strides during pre-season and edged a five goal thriller this afternoon when they overcame the MK Dons 3-2, thanks to a brace from Ben Hatton and a Josh Ayres goal.
With the new season fast approaching, Hairyes insisted he’s expecting big things from the group this term.
“We look unrecoginsible from this time last year,” Hairyes told www.themillers.co.uk.
“We’ve got a really good group that we’re really excited about, both first year and second years scholars and with a good crop of youngsters as well, I think we could be set for a golden age for this Academy.
“Josh [Ayres] and Ben [Hatton] both found the net today against MK Dons and have really benefited from time with the first team.
“Thankfully the first team want this link as well and I think we can really see how it is helping push some of the lads on.
“Ben has scored four times in succession now and he was one of our shining lights last year, so we’re expecting big things from him.”
Josh Ayres in action for the Millers against Sheffield United
The Academy recently welcomed Gavin Atherton to the team as the new Lead Profesisonal Development Phase Coach and the former Stockport County coach has immediately set about implementing his ideas to the team.
Having undergone a robust recruitment process in order to identify the ideal candidate for the role, Hairyes has been left delighted with what he’s seen from his new PDP Coach so far.
“Gavin [Atherton] has settled in really well,” Haireys explained.
“We had a very rigerous process to ensure that the person we were getting in for the role was the right one and I’m pleased to say I think we’ve done that.
“We looked at what is coming through and thought we needed a good figurehead, someone who wants to play the right way and share the values that we have.
“He’s certainly hit the ground running and the lads have really bought into his ideas and what he wants to bring to the team.
“He has been working extremely hard to continuing forging links with the team and has been in regualr dialogue with them, which is really positive.
“We’re all hoping that this is a sign of what is to come in the following years and we’re all very excited to see what the future holds.”