Rovers’ rising stars will be given every chance to impress in pre-season and to stay around the senior set-up.

An extended squad is set to be part of the pre-season programme, including a week-long overseas trip.

Five friendlies have already been confirmed, with two more set to be announced for the European training camp.

Jon Dahl Tomasson has switched up the pre-season programme to ensure that the squad are given a full week of training together before back-to-back games over the weekend.

Rovers start with the trip to Stanley on July 8, with back-to-back games over the weekends of July 21/22 and July 28/29.

The same is expected when Rovers head overseas following the Stanley friendly, with games set to be scheduled for July 14/15 in the same was as in the mid-season break in Marbella when they faced Hearts and Ajax.

The schedule will allow Tomasson to give both extended minutes to his squad and more opportunities for young players to stake their claim.

Sam Barnes, Ash Phillips, Adam Wharton, Jake Garrett and Harry Leonard were all heavily involved in the pre-season programme last summer and stayed around the first-team thereafter.

Jake Batty is set to do likewise this time around, with midfielder Harley O’Grady-Macken also likely to get some match action.

Last summer’s trip to Portugal offered Tomasson the chance to see the young players first hand having taken over in the same week the players reported back for training.

He has continued to take a close interest in the development of the club’s younger players, inviting some as young as 15 to take part in internal games which have become a key part of club’s planning.

Tomasson’s approach has been welcomed by the club’s Academy staff, with five players having been handed their debuts across the 2022/23 season.

Central defender Barnes came close to adding to that number, only to suffer a season-ending injury in August, but will be part of the pre-season matches before a decision is taken on whether he is made available for loan.

For head of Academy Stuart Jones, he says the club’s continued support for the youth system gives a real lift for everyone involved in the development phase.

He said: “I think it helps if you’ve got an environment that’s willing to give opportunities to young players and they can feel it and see it.

“It’s benefited the likes of Jake Garrett and Harry Leonard massively being around the first-team from day one, training every day and towards the end of the season Harry has been given opportunities.

“It’s so proud to see, certainly this season, so many debuts and everyone in the building is really proud when that happens because there’s a lot of work that goes on.

“Sometimes it’s unnoticed how much work goes on behind the scenes in terms of their development.

“When that happens it’s a proud moment for everyone.”