Doncaster Rovers: The six academy prospects to keep an eye on in 2015

Liam Mandeville, pictured in action against Norwich City.
Liam Mandeville, pictured in action against Norwich City.

Just like anyone of a Rovers persuasion in attendance, sports writer Paul Goodwin came away from Doncaster Rovers’ impressive FA Youth Cup victory over Norwich City optimistic about the future.

Here, he picks out six academy players to keep an eye on in 2015:

Jack McKay

Perhaps owing not just to his goals, but also his family connections, it’s fair to say Jack McKay is easily the most hyped member of Doncaster’s academy.

But the 18-year-old frontman is currently living up to that hype.

Tall, nimble, with an eye for goal, the teenager possesses all the necessary attributes to make the transition from youth team to first team.

Based on his man of the match display against the Canaries, McKay clearly knows where the goal is.

He looks like the sort of striker who might go for long periods unnoticed, but give him a chance in front of goal and nine times out of ten he’ll take it.

That much was evident from his second goal, which he made himself and finished with aplomb.

Perhaps most pleasing, however, was his third goal - a scruffy striker’s finish from close range after a free kick was tossed into the box.

McKay appears to have that goalscorer’s instinct of being in the right place at the right time, something that can’t be taught.

Liam Mandeville

McKay took the headlines against Norwich but his strike partner Mandeville put in an equally impressive shift.

He literally never stopped running. His work rate was nothing short of phenomenal.

This lad wears his heart on his sleeve - and his temperament and attitude bodes very well.

But there is a lot more to Mandeville’s game than harrying defenders and working his socks off.

When he receives the ball, he holds onto it and protects it with a combination of skill, strength and poise. At times against the Canaries it was like the ball was stuck to his boot with glue.

It’s no wonder this lad’s progress is being monitored by a clutch of scouts and agents.

Paul McKay

Paul McKay might not have had the publicity of his brother Jack but, on the evidence of his cool, composed display against Norwich he has just as much chance of making it as his twin.

A commanding central defender, McKay looked composed throughout and also very comfortable with the ball at his feet.

There was an air of authority and maturity about his performance.

Like his brother, his excellent positioning appears to be instinctive - as shown by his vital goal line clearance in the second half.

Aron Gordon

Gordon might not have been at his best against the Canaries, as he tended to drift in and out of the game.

But the promising winger has a key commodity in abundance: pace.

A little flash of brilliance in the second half, when he tricked his way past his marker and burst into the box before firing wide, displayed this lad’s obvious potential.

Matthew Davies

Davies might not have the pace of Gordon, but he certainly has one or two tricks up his sleeve.

His nimble footwork and close control earned the penalty for McKay’s first goal, and more of the same after the break created a couple of great openings.

Kevin M’bti

Centre half M’bti still looks very raw but his positioning, speed and also his enthusiasm mark him out as another one to watch.