It has been a productive campaign for our academy goalkeeper, Rogan Ravenhill, who has featured regularly at U18s level in the Professional Development League.
The 16-year-old, playing up an age group due to the injury to Kieren Flavell, has shone and, along with his fellow U16s players ready to step-up next season, has joined Tom Harban’s side at their Italian training camp.
“I think it’s been a really good experience,” insisted Ravenhill. “Coming away with the under 18s, there’s been different challenges – they expect more of you. It’s a different environment here, the weather is a lot different; you’ve just got to adapt.
“You feel more lethargic because the sun is getting to you and causing you headaches, so you’ve just got to get over it, and I think I’ve done that well.”
While out in Europe, our youngsters have watched AC Milan take on Genoa at the historic San Siro, had a day trip to Milan and also explored Lake Garda as part of team bonding activities.
Ravenhill believes that the overall experience of integrating with an older age group will prove to be beneficial and is hoping he can be as welcoming to younger players coming through next season.
“It’s been good because we have more time to bond together,” he continued. “We’re here as under 16s as scholars and able to bond with the first years because we’re going to be the team next year, so it’s going to be a head start for next year.
“I’ve been here for nine years now, so I’m used to it – I know the coaches, so I think I’ve got the confidence to help other people because I’ve experienced that.
“I’ve gone into older age groups, and they’ve helped me, so I’d want to do the same if someone came up who is younger than me.”
With just two games of the PDL campaign remaining, our young Reds are targeting a place in the end of season play-offs.
Victory over Ipswich Town, who are currently third in the Southern section, will be just the tonic ahead of a final day clash with Millwall on 7 May at the Oakwell Training Ground.
“Hopefully we can win the next two games and get in the play-offs, and hopefully win the league,” asserted Ravenhill.
“We’ve got to work hard as a team, group together and try and get the win.”
You can watch the full interview with Rogan on iFollow Barnsley for FREE.