Reports in the local media have suggested that Leyton Orient winger Jobi McAnuff is having a trial with Rovers.
Gary Bowyer has also confirmed that Swedish striker Denni Avdic is having a trial with Rovers, talking at his pre match press conference Bowyer saidÂ â€œWeâ€™re going to have a look at him over a couple of days.
â€œItâ€™s always important when players become available that they show the appetite to come over and see if everything is a nice fit.
â€œHeâ€™s trained this morning with us and itâ€™s something weâ€™ll continue to monitor".
Meanwhile BRFCS understands that reports linking Jordan Rhodes with a move to Sunderland are wide of the mark. Â Rovers have received no new bids for Rhodes over the last 2 weeks. Â Middlesbrough who remain keen to sign Rhodes have not been back with any new bids and are on the verge of signing Leicester striker David Nugent for Â£4 million.
Rovers are back in action tomorrow when they travel to the John Smith's Stadium to take on Huddersfield Town.
Tuesday 11th August 2015 â€“ The Premier Academy Under-18 League
Blackburn Rovers Under-18 1 v 1 Middlesbrough Under-18 - by Parsonblue
Blackburn Rovers Under-18 (1) 1
Andrew Fisher; Lewis Travis, Matthew Platt, Charley Doyle, Josh Askew; Stefan Mols, Joe Grayson; Tre Pemberton, Mason Fawns (Stuart Callaway 75), Ramirez Howarth; Joel Steer (Alex Curran 74).
Subs not used: Ben Ascroft (gk), Matthew Makinson, Jan Pirretas.
Coach: Billy Barr
Middlesbrough Under-18 (1) 1
Platt (own goal) 41
Thomas Dawson; Liam Hegarty, James Cook, Niall McGoldrick, Anthony Renton; Alex Pattison, Ben Liddle, Marcus Tavernier, Patrick Reading (Mitchell Curry 46); Daniel Jardine (Jack Lambert 52), Lee Hetherington.
Subs not used: Bradley James (gk), Jay Wilson, Nathan Convery.
Coach: Craig Liddle
The Under-18â€™s opened their League encounter with a tough fixture against Middlesbrough, who won the title last season and thereby qualified for this seasonâ€™s UEFA Youth League.
The game was delayed for a quarter of an hour because of the late arrival of the visitors but within six minutes of the start Lee Hetherington had escaped the Roversâ€™ defence and managed to get in a shot which Andy Fisher saved quite comfortably.
The Rovers immediately launched an attack of their own which ended when Tre Pemberton played in Lewis Travis but the full-backâ€™s cross was cleared.
These two combined again on ten minutes and when the cross came in Dawson, merely punched the ball away but it was quickly returned and the â€˜keeper was forced to make a save at the feet Joel Steer.
The Rovers were looking quite competitive and Steer picked up a yellow card for a late tackle on Liam Hegarty.
On twenty-two minutes, Steer was in the thick of the action again when he chased a long ball and the â€˜keeper was forced to come to the edge of his area to make a save as the Roversâ€™ number nine was about to pounce.
A minute later and it was the Middlesbrough centre-forward, Hetherington, who showed good control to take the ball into the area but the fired into the side netting.
On twenty-five minutes the Rovers almost opened the scoring when Mason Fawns dragged the ball away from a defender in the area before crashing his shot against the Middlesbrough crossbar.
However, on thirty-six minutes the Rovers took the lead thanks to a wonderful piece of play by the Pemberton.Â The winger beat two â€˜Boro players and left them in his wake before chipping the perfect pass into the penalty area and over the Middlesbrough defence for Steer to run onto and head the ball home.
Sadly, the lead didnâ€™t last long as the visitors pulled level on forty-one minutes.Â The ball came across from the left and Fisher attempted to punch it clear but failed to get much distance on his clearance.Â In a flash the ball came back into the box from the right and in attempting to head the ball behind, Matty Platt merely succeeded in heading it into his own net.
As half-time approach Joe Grayson attempted a pot at goal but his effort was blocked for a corner which came to nothing.
Middlesbrough made a change at the interval whilst the Rovers kept faith with the same eleven.Â However, although the Rovers had enjoyed a decent amount of possession during the first forty-five minutes the opening period of the second half was a much more even affair.
On fifty minutes Graysonâ€™s free-kick flew just wide whilst five minutes later Hetherington had an effort saved by Fisher.
The Rovers brought on Alex Curran in place of Steer but it was Middlesbrough who were beginning to ask more questions of the Roversâ€™ back line.Â Hetherington chipped a free-kick over the Roversâ€™ wall but Fisher read it and collected the ball with ease.
Curran worked his way into the area with some tricky play but slipped just as he was in the process of shooting and the ball flew narrowly over the bar.Â Both of Middlesbroughâ€™s substitutes â€“ Mitchell Curry and Jack Lambert â€“ had efforts which were off target whilst the lively Pemberton had another effort blocked.
Curran was played into the area and found himself in space but as he was about to shoot a defender got back and made a desperate tackle to win the ball.Â Pemberton then showed some neat footwork and burst into the area and as Dawson came out to meet him he chipped the ball over the â€˜keeper but, sadly, it lacked power and a defender was able to get back and clear off the line.
It was a fairly entertaining affair and a draw was a fair result as both sides had spells when they dominated.Â Tre Pemberton is a tricky little winger who has an eye for a pass whilst Alex Curran impressed with his ability to find good positions and his intelligent use of the ball.Â Joel Steer worked hard up front and didnâ€™t give the defenders a momentâ€™s rest and, of course, nipped in to score the opening goal.Â Joe Grayson and Stefan Mols both got through a lot of work in midfield and used the ball well in trying to feed the wings.
Monday 10th August 2015 â€“ Barclays Under-21 Premier League Division Two
Blackburn Rovers Under-21 0 v 1 Derby County Under-21 - By Parsonblue
Blackburn Rovers Under-21 (0) 0
Simon Eastwood; Connor Thomson (Dean Rittenberg 90 + 1), Sam Lavelle, Scott Wharton, Jack Doyle; Lewis Mansell, Willem Tomlinson, Lewis Hardcastle, Connor Mahoney (Joe Grayson 75); David Carson; Anton Forrester.
Subs not used: Ryan Crump (gk), Modou Cham, Luke Wall
Manager: Damien Johnson
Derby County Under-21 (0) 1
Jonathan Mitchell; Alefe Santos (Jack Tuite 59), Farrend Rawson (Ethan Wassall 65), Tom Koblenz, Max Lowe; Charles Vernam, Callum Guy, Alban Benjaku (Kellan Gordon 71), Ivan Calero; Offrande Aansala, Mason Bennett.
Subs not used: Josh Barnes (gk), Jared Bird.
Manager: Darren Wassell
Referee: Mr. K. Mulraine
Bookings: Blackburn Rovers Under-21 â€“ None
Derby County Under-21 â€“ Kellan Gordon
A goalkeeping blunder by Simon Eastwood condemned the Under-21â€™s to defeat in their opening League encounter at Leigh Sports Village.Â Ultimately, the difference between two evenly matched teams proved to be the goalkeepers.Â Eastwood fluffed an attempt to claim a high ball from a corner whilst Jonathan Mitchell looked supremely confident in claiming crosses as the Rovers put him under pressure in the closing stages.
Damien Johnson included Willem Tomlinson in midfield alongside the equally promising Lewis Hardcastle whilst David Carson completed the trio of central midfielders, playing in the hole behind lone striker Anton Forrester.
Derby were on the attack from the off and after only four minutes Mason Bennett shot over the bar.Â Two minutes later it was Bennett who set up the Spaniard Ivan Calero and his thunderbolt of a shot struck the post before being cleared.Â Bennett, who was in the thick of the action throughout the opening period, then flicked a clever headed pass into space in the penalty area but no Derby player read it and the ball was cleared.
On sixteen minutes Eastwood had to rush from his goal to beat Charles Vernam to a high looping ball that was played to the edge of the area.
The Rovers first real attacking opportunity came at the end of twenty minutes when Connor Mahoneyâ€™s near post corner caused problems for the visiting defence and Sam Lavelleâ€™s shot was blocked for another corner.Â Once again, Mahoney placed an inswinging corner into a dangerous area but, sadly, although Scott Wharton got to the ball he was unable to keep his header on target.
It had become a very even affair at this point with both sides enjoying spells of possession but without really threatening to dominate the game.
On thirty-five minutes the visitors put the Rovers under intense pressure when Vernamâ€™s shot was cleared off the line by Wharton, only for the ball to strike Eastwood and rebound back to the goal where Wharton again cleared off the line.
On thirty-seven minutes Lewis Hardcastle blasted a terrific effort just wide of the post and six minutes later he struck another powerful long range effort which flew narrowly wide.
It was deadlock at the interval which merely reflected the closeness of the game.
The Rovers were the first to attack after the break when David Carson did well to beat two men in the Derby area but was unable to keep his shot on target.Â The visitors responded almost immediately when the impressive Calero hit a long range effort from distance which rattled the Roversâ€™ crossbar.
As in the first half, after these two chances, the match settled into a fairly even contest.Â Callum Guy sent in a spectacular effort from distance when he ran onto a loose ball and blasted his shot just over the bar from all of twenty-five yards out.Â At the other end Anton Forrester had a quick shot on the turn which was deflected for a corner.
On seventy-four minutes the visitors were awarded a free-kick and Caleroâ€™s powerful effort struck the wall and deflected away for a corner.Â Calero took the corner and although Eastwood came to claim the ball he couldnâ€™t hold it and dropped it in a crowded goalmouth.Â Defender Ethan Wassell, who had replaced Rawson, showed the predatory instincts of a striker as he managed to fire home from just a few yards out to give Derby the lead.
The Rovers immediately replaced the ineffective Mahoney with Joe Grayson as they looked to get back into the game.Â Play was then held up for some time as Callum Guy received lengthy treatment to a leg injury before being stretchered off in some pain.Â As the visitors had already used all of their substitutes they were forced to play out the final ten minutes with ten men.
The Rovers pushed forward in search of an equaliser and on eighty-eight minutes they had a chance when Forrester worked a good opening in the area but fired straight at Mitchell.Â With seven minutes of added time to be played the Rovers threatened with a couple of corners but Mitchell came and claimed them under pressure which, ultimately, proved to be the difference between the sides.
The youngsters had probably done enough to earn a point but were undone by a goalkeeping lapse from which they couldnâ€™t recover.Â Willem Tomlinson, after his recent first team exploits, had a rather quiet night and was overshadowed by the hardworking performances of David Carson and Lewis Hardcastle.Â Carson was his usual combative self, never giving the opposition time on the ball whilst supporting Forrester whenever the Rovers attacked.Â Hardcastle worked hard as a box to box player and was unfortunate to see a couple of well struck long range efforts fly just wide of the target.
Lewis Mansell, the main striker for the Under-18â€™s, had a difficult night on the right of midfield, whilst Mahoney, apart from a couple of corners, had another quiet night before being substituted.Â Sam Lavelle and Scott Wharton stood up well to an impressive Derby attack.Â Connor Thomson, again pressed into service at right-back due to Ryan Nyambe being with the first team, had a difficult night against the very impressive Calero but he stuck to his task as did Jack Doyle on the opposite flank.
Anton Forrester worked hard as the lone striker but found chances at a premium and when he did get them he failed to find the power or accuracy to beat Mitchell.
Tuesday 4th August 2015 â€“ Pre-Season Friendly
AFC Fylde 5 v 1 Blackburn Rovers Under-21 Report by Parsonblue
AFC Fylde (1) 5
Wilson 27, Charles 65, Rowe 76, Whittington 78, Rowe 90
First Half Team:
Matt Urwin; Caspar Hughes, Joe Gregory, Tom Hannigan, Adam Sumner; Joey Mullen, Brad Barnes, Trialist; Cory Bent, Josh Wilson, Danny Lloyd.
Second Half Team:
Matt Urwin; Jake Gregory, Dom Collins, Josh Langley, Carnan Dawson; Trialist, Trialist; Dion Charles, Josh Wilson (Joe Whittingham 67), Richie Allen; Danny Rowe.
Manager: Dave Challinor
Blackburn Rovers Under-21 (1) 1
Max Simonsazzi; Connor Thomson, Sam Lavelle, Scott Wharton, Mark Edgar (Devarn Green 28); Connor Mahoney (Modou Cham 77), Joe Grayson, David Carson, Jack Doyle; Jordan Preston, Anton Forrester (Sam Joel 60)
Subs not used: Ryan Crump (gk), Luke Wall, Dean Rittenberg.
Referee: Mr. J. Mainwaring
The Under-21â€™s successful pre-season campaign came to an end with a hugely disappointing display in their final game before the League programme begins next week.Â Having taken the lead after just sixteen minutes, the Rovers youngsters were pegged back before the break and then completely overwhelmed after the interval as AFC Fylde lived up to their billing as favourites to take the Vanarama National League North title.
The Rovers, with Italian trialist Max Simonsazzi in goal, were given any early warning that it was going to be anything but an easy night when Cory Bent raced into the area and fired across the face of the goal.Â Minutes later, the lively Bentâ€™s cross was fumbled by Simonsazzi and the ball fell invitingly at the feet of Danny Lloyd.Â However, by the time he got his shot away Simonsazzi had recovered his position to make an excellent save.
Gradually, the Rovers began to play their way back into the game and on sixteen minutes they took the lead with a well worked goal.Â The Rovers attacked down the left and good work by Jack Doyle, playing on the left of midfield, played in Forrester in the area and the striker took a touch and then blasted the ball past former Rover Matt Urwin into the back of the net.
Three minutes later Forrester might well have had a second but delayed his shot after Jordan Preston had played him into the area.Â However, Forrester kept possession and worked the ball out to Connor Mahoney on the right and he squared the ball back into the centre for David Carson to meet it but his effort flew high over the bar.
At this stage the Rovers looked quite bright and Simonsazzi restored his confidence when came to claim a cross under pressure.
However, on twenty-seven minutes the home drew level with a splendid goal from Josh Wilson who picked the ball up on the edge of the area and blasted an unstoppable thunderbolt past Simonsazzi.
The Rovers responded with another effort from Preston which Urwin saved quite comfortably.Â They then received another blow when Mark Edgar seemed to go over on his ankle and although he tried to continue after treatment he was replaced on twenty-eight minutes by Devarn Green.Â Green went to play on the left of midfield and Doyle dropped back to his familiar left-back position.
Just past the half-hour mark Mahoney played a lovely ball into Preston who mishit his shot and the ball trickled past the post.Â Forrester then forced a corner which came to nothing as the game settled down into a fairly even affair.
After thirty-five minutes the home side had a glorious chance to take the lead when Lloydâ€™s cross from the left to the opposite flank was completely missed by Doyle and Bent stuck a fierce shot against the foot of the post.
At the other end a neat inter-change of passing between Forrester and Mahoney ended with Mahoney firing wide.
Simonsazzi then did well to hold a shot from Mullen but on the brink of half time he was forced to rush from his goal as Bent split open the Rovers defence with a ball which set Mullen free and racing through on goal.Â As the â€˜keeper came to meet him, Mullen pushed his shot narrowly wide of the post.
After the break the Rovers kept the same eleven but the home side made eight changes as they opted to utilise their entire senior squad.
The home side settled very quickly despite the multiple changes and after fifty-two minutes Carnan Dawson showed excellent control to bring the ball down in the Roversâ€™ area and then, in an instant, fire a well struck effort which forced an excellent save from the young Italian goalkeeper.
On the hour mark the Rovers introduced Sam Joel in place of Forrester but just five minutes later it was the home side who grabbed a deserved lead.Â The tricky Dion Charles turned Doyle inside out before cutting inside and rifling a shot across the goal into the opposite corner of the net with the â€˜keeper well beaten.Â It was a wonderful piece of individual skill from the winger.
The home side then replaced the impressive Josh Wilson with Joe Whittington as they made their final change of the evening.Â However, the tide had well and truly turned in their favour as the Rovers defence looked increasing fragile against the pace and trickery of the Fylde front three.
On seventy-six minutes a wonderful touch and turn by Danny Rowe left Sam Lavelle floundering in his wake before he calmly placed his shot well wide of Simonsazzi and into the back of the net.
The introduction of Modou Cham for Mahoney did little to alter the course of the game and on seventy-eight minutes the home side made it four when Joe Whittington drilled the ball home with unerring accuracy from around twenty yards out.
The Rovers youngsters looked totally shell-shocked from the second-half blitz that had blown them away.
Four minutes from the end Joel had a shot which was blocked for a corner but, in truth, the Rovers had long since ceased to have any impact on the game as an attacking force.
On the stroke of time the Rovers conceded a fifth when Simonazzi came out for a ball which he was never going to reach and Lavelle got in a tangle with the result that Rowe was presented with a gift as he seemed to strike the ball against Lavelle and into the net.
There was little comfort Damien Johnson and John Filan could take from this game.Â Too many players were well below the standards of which they are capable.Â The home side employed four different wingers throughout the game and all four had the beating of the Rovers full-backs.Â Indeed, the pace and power of the Fylde team was hugely impressive.
The first half had been a fairly even affair with both sides having the odd chance to take the lead before the interval but after the break the defending by the Rovers turned into something of a horror show.Â It was also a difficult night to judge the trialist goalkeeper.Â Simonazzi is a youth player with Parma who could do little to stop the avalanche of goals that came his way.
Rovers have confirmed that midfielder Danny Guthrie has signed for the club after a successful trial. Â The former Newcastle midfielder has signed a 2 year deal.
Talking to the official website (www.rovers.co.uk) Guthrie said Â â€œItâ€™s been a long summer, but Iâ€™m delighted to get it done and be ready and available for the first game. Â â€œThe gaffer made it quite clear that he really wanted me to join the club and felt strongly about what I could bring to the side. Every player wants to hear that from their manager and know that theyâ€™re going to be potentially an important part of the squad".
Guthrie is in line to make his Rovers debut against Wolves at Ewood Park on Saturday.
Contrary to national media reports which have suggested that Middlesbrough have made a Â£14 million bid for Rovers striker Jordan Rhodes. Â BRFCS understands that these reports are wide of the mark.
Middlesbrough retain a strong interest in signing Rhodes but have not been back with another formal offer for the striker but are expected to try again later this week. Â Middlesbrough tried to negotiate a deal directly with Venky's but BRFCS understand that the owners have not responded to that request.
Rhodes played in Rovers friendly against Wigan on Saturday but has already stated that he wants to be given the opportunity to talk to Middlesbrough.
Saturday 1st August 2015 â€“ Pre-Season Friendly
Blackburn Rovers Under-18 6 v 0 Preston North End Under-18
Blackburn Rovers Under-18 (5) 6
Mansell 4, Fawns 27, Barry (og) 34, Mansell 37, Mansell (pen) 44, Steer 50
First Half Team: Ben Ascroft; Lewis Travis, Matthew Platt, Charley Doyle, Ben Williams; Tre Pemberton, Trialist, Stefan Mols, Alex Curran, Mason Fawns; Lewis Mansell
Second Half Team: Ben Ascroft; Matty Makinson, Tyler Magloire, Joe Rankin-Costello, Josh Askew; Ramirez Howarth, Callum Hendry, Jan Pirretas, Oliver Mehew; Lewis Mansell, Joel Steer.
This was my first look at the Under-18â€™s this season and what a powerful performance during a first half in which they simply swept aside the North End team.Â The game was barely four minutes old when Lewis Travis, a former Liverpool trainee who joined the Rovers last season and featured in the first team game at Rochdale the other week, crossed the ball from the right and Lewis Mansell was on hand to notch the opening goal.
It was virtually all one way traffic as the Rovers youngsters poured forward with Mansell proving a real handful for the visiting defence.
A quick break on the right saw Tre Pemberton switch the play to the opposite flank with a sweeping crossfield pass which found Mansell on the left and he cut in and struck a decent shot which was saved.Â Minutes later he was denied when he chased a through ball but was just beaten to it by the goalkeeper.
The Rovers went two up after twenty-seven minutes when Alex Curran played in Mansell with a delightful ball which split the visiting defence.Â Mansell took the ball on before blasting a shot which the â€˜keeper parried into the path of Mason Fawns who tapped the ball home.
It was 3-0 after 34 minutes when a corner from Fawns was headed by Doyle only to hit Tom Barry and deflect into the net.
Moments later Stefan Mols was played through and hit a powerful shot which the shell-shocked â€˜keeper fumbled as the ball went through his legs but he recovered to make a save.
On thirty-six minutes it was 4-0 with Mansell, once again, being the scorer.Â He took possession of the ball out on the right and then proceeded to twist and turn his way past defenders until he reached the area and then powered a shot into the back of the net.
Four minutes later Mansell turned provider when he played in Tre Pemberton but although the wingerâ€™s shot was well struck it was slightly off target.
The Rovers snatched a fifth goal on the brink of half-time.Â A throw-in reached Mansell in the area who had a defender climbing all over him and the referee had no hestitation in awarding a penalty.Â Mansell took the kick himself and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to complete his hat-trick.
The interval saw Billy Barr make nine changes to his team with only Ben Ascroft and Lewis Mansell remaining for the second-half.
The second-half was only five minutes old when the Rovers added a sixth goal.Â Another attack found full-back Matty Makinson with the ball on the bye-line and he simply pulled it back for Joel Steer to tap into an empty net.
The game became a more even affair, with North End making changes to their team and the Rovers simply containing the visitors with little difficulty.Â Mansell and Steer both had efforts off target but in comparison with the opening forty-five minutes the second half was a fairly quiet affair with the Rovers winning the game quite comfortably.
Lewis Mansell, who was a substitute for the first team at Oldham last week, looked a real handful at this level.Â However, he is still quite raw â€“ as was shown at Oldham â€“ but will hopefully develop over the course of the season playing for the Under-18â€™s and Under-21â€™s.Â He looks a real prospect and certainly knows how to find the back of the net.
Others who caught eye were the hard working Stefan Mols in midfield in the first half and in the second half the rather elegant midfield play of Jan Pirretas who always seemed to find time on the ball without being hurried in his decision making.Â Alex Curran also looked a very busy player with an eye for a pass from midfield.
It will be interesting to see how these lads fair against the tough opposition that they will face in League games.