Rochdale manager Brian Barry-Murphy says the involvement of young players in the Leasing.com Trophy is part of the excitement for the fans.

Earlier this season, Peter Thomas became the youngest player in the club’s history at the age of, when he made an appearance off the bench in his side’s clash with Manchester City U21s in the competition aged just 15 years and 22 days.

The record had previously been held by Luke Matheson, the goalscorer in his side’s fantastic performance against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup. Matheson made his Rochdale debut when he was just 15 years and 336 days old. 

“For the younger players the Leasing.com Trophy gives them that chance to play, make themselves known and it also gives them that whole feeling of being involved in the first team environment which is vital. 

“There has always been an appreciation from our supporters that this is a competition we’re we can give our younger players that chance to shine. We’ve started to get really good crowds in because there is always a sense of curiosity to see who are the next players that are coming through.

“I think that’s really part of the excitement for the fans when they can say in future that they watched Peter Thomas in his first game and Luke Matheson in his first game.”

 

Rochdale face a must win match against Bradford City in the Leasing.com Trophy next Tuesday, with both clubs having the chance to progress to the second round. 


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