Blackburn Rovers pre-season pointers ahead of the first friendly

AFC Fylde canceled a game due to Covid-19 restrictions, but as it stands, Rovers’ game is continuing. We get a glimpse of things to watch out for as Tony Mowbray’s men prepare to kick off their preseason … hopefully sooner rather than later.

Thomas Kaminski teamed up with the Rovers team in Scotland yesterday and after a brief trip to Euro 2020, hasn’t missed too much pre-season action.

If the Rovers Player of the Year does get a free afternoon at Mill Farm after his travels, however, it could give Aynsley Pears an opportunity to get his gloves dirty in what will be scarce playing time after just three appearances last season.

Reports of a possible loan for the former Middlesbrough man, who, at 23 and with three years on the contract remaining, certainly has time on his side, have always seemed out of place, but he hopes to impress enough to show that he can push Kaminski for his place to the side.

Jordan Eastham and Antonis Stergiakis shared the Under-23 minutes last season, but it was the first to play in the opening preseason games of last season as the Greece Under-19 international did not. having signed only in August.

Kaminski’s late arrival and subsequent quarantine meant it was Andy Fisher, since sold to MK Dons, and Eastham, who were playing in the tight season games.

Who does not appear in Fylde will likely be involved with AFC Darwen, with Billy Barr’s side starting their preseason campaign the same day, and with Joe Hilton having been loaned to Hamilton Academical, Aidan Dowling freshly signed his first professional contract, will be eyeing a few minutes for those under 23.


No new recruits this summer, but a new face on the bill, that of January to which is added Harry Pickering. The left-back is an area that has been strengthened on deadline day each of the past two summers, so having Pickering registered and ready to go on day one of the preseason is a boost.

The 22-year-old has had time to adjust to his new surroundings, but there will be an extra spotlight on him as the only “new player” fans need to watch out for.

There are currently no save options for the former Crewe captain, with the release of Amari’i Bell and the end of Barry Douglas’ loan, and he is expected to start the season as the first pick, the pre -season giving him a chance to cement this. thought in Mowbray’s mind.


The condensed 2020 preseason was all about Tyrhys Dolan. It was on the Fylde coast in Fleetwood that he made his first outing for Rovers, and scored an assist with his first touches, crossing for Adam Armstrong to score.

He then scored in a win at Blackpool, and the rest is history, but the talented teenager will want to kick off with the goal of earning more starts next season.

Harry Chapman will also be looking to seize the opportunity, having impressed on loan at Shrewsbury, falling behind Dolan in the pecking order ahead of his move to Shropshire.

Dan Butterworth and Jack Vale will also be looking to take a chance and put aside their injury frustrations. The two trained with the first team ahead of Fylde’s friendly and are expected to get minutes, especially with Ben Brereton yet to be back, and doubts over Sam Gallagher’s readiness after a minor injury.

Vale couldn’t build on his senior debut in the penultimate game of the 2019/20 season, but in the photos at least he appears to have added a bit more physique, while the issues of Butterworth’s injuries nearly wiped out the last two years of his career.

Both will look to get back on Mowbray’s thoughts with a strong preseason start.


The Rovers, under Mowbray, largely named two different XIs early in the preseason and then built them up so players could have 60 minutes under their belt.

With two players gone on international missions and three long-term injuries, as well as 11 starting players from last season, it will be interesting to see how Mowbray shakes up the field, especially with the Under-23s having a friendly on the same day. .

The minutes at the center half will likely be split between Darragh Lenihan, Daniel Ayala, Tyler Magloire and Hayden Carter, with Dan Pike likely sharing right-back with Ryan Nyambe, but little competition for Pickering without plunging into the Under-23 ranks. years.

In the central midfielder, there are four senior options in Bradley Johnson, Jacob Davenport, John Buckley and Joe Rothwell, an area of ​​the pitch where the Rovers were previously inundated with players but now appear rather naked.

There are more options on offense, given the availability of Vale and Butterworth, but the strength of the squad will be clear to see when the squad sheet lands on Saturday afternoon.


Rovers fans quickly picked up the 240 tickets available in the south stand and are hoping the game will continue without seeing their team in action since February 2020.

This is the first step for club fans to come back to watch the games regularly, the only other opportunity to come in Ewood’s game against Leeds United on July 28, and then comes the opener against Swansea on August 7.

Equally important will be the celebration of the life of former AFC Fylde Academy player Luke Bennett, whose father, Tom, works at Rovers Academy.


The truckers were hoping their new Macron-designed kit would be available for the friendly opening, but the delays mean that won’t be the case.

Where previously they wore old shirts, or even those from the Academy, this time it will be a new “stop gap kit” due to the change of manufacturer from Umbro to Macron.

While not on sale, there will be a chance for season ticket holders to get their hands on one due to their entry into a raffle.

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