Burton Albion’s Professional Development Phase Lead Coach Sam Rose was happy with the Young Brewers' performance in their 0-0 draw away to Rotherham in the EFL Youth Alliance League.
It was an even game, with both sides having chances to find a winner, but both defences came out on top to secure a point for their teams.
The Albion side was mixed with PDP and U16 players, and with a lack of substitutes available they battled brilliantly to earn a point away from home.
Speaking after the game, Rose said: “I thought it was a scrappy game, though we should have won it based on the chances we created, but we could have lost it so the clean sheet was important.
“It was a good point really, with a different team today, not sure what to expect and a limited squad, I think it’s a good point.
“Not being able to change too much definitely had an impact on the game, we would have definitely made a change early in the second half, but we didn’t have the opportunity to do that so for the boys to stay together and get through it without the luxury of making three, four, five changes and to still get the point is pleasing.”
The involvement of some of the U16 group was an aspect of the game that impressed Rose, with many of them able to get the experience that they will require for the step up to PDP football next season.
“The group kind of finds its way towards the end of the season," said Rose. "We played on Saturday against Lincoln, we won 2-0 and that was a good win, we played some good football with next year’s group, and those boys that have come in.
“There would have been more involved, but GSCEs and mock exams are their priority so if they can’t come out of school, they don’t.
“The boys are getting lots of opportunities, they’re getting exposure to what next year’s going to look like, and they don’t get games like this in 16s football.
“A game like this wouldn’t have ended 0-0, it would’ve been seven or eight, the goals just keep going in, so for them to see how the other side of it could look is important, and they’ve done well those boys.”
It is set to be an exciting week or so for the Young Brewers, as they welcome Doncaster on Saturday before heading to Preston for the EFL Youth Alliance Cup semi-final, and this gives plenty of players an opportunity to make an impression towards the end the season.
Rose stated: “We won’t have the same team on Saturday, and that won’t be the same team that plays on Tuesday, because of loans, availability and we’ll want to get the 16s playing today on Saturday.
“A different group every week, it seems, but that’s how it goes, we run an Academy and it’s about opportunities and developing the players, we are developing the individuals so what the team looks like is sometimes a little bit irrelevant, but they’ve competed today and won a good point.
“We’ll come in Monday and do as much as we can, and make sure we are prepared for it, they are a good side, it’ll be a good game, and if we win, we are through to the National bit, so we win a semi-final to be in another semi-final, but three games and we could win something this year which is very exciting.”