Blackpool boss explains why Rowan Roache was allowed to join Derby U23s

Rowan Roache celebrates scoring during Blackpool's memorable run in the FA Youth Cup
Rowan Roache celebrates scoring during Blackpool's memorable run in the FA Youth Cup
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Terry McPhillips has admitted Rowan Roache was allowed to leave the club on loan because the highly-rated forward was unlikely to feature for Blackpool's first team.

READ MORE: Blackpool boss Terry McPhillips frustrated by new injury setbacks

It was confirmed earlier this week that the 18-year-old had linked up with Derby County's Under-23 side, where he has joined on a youth loan until the end of the season.

Roache has yet to feature for the Seasiders this season having injured his metatarsal during the summer, although he has enjoyed loan spells with Southport and FC United.

The forward was named among the substitutes in November’s 3-2 Checkatrade Trophy win against Accrington Stanley, which was his first involvement in a match day squad since returning from his injury lay-off.

Many Blackpool fans had expressed surprise at Roache's exit, but McPhillips believes it will be of benefit to the attacker.

“The thinking behind that is that he wasn’t close to getting in this team and the lad needs to play," he told The Gazette.

“I think he’s actually away with the Republic of Ireland now.

“He went and had a couple of days with them and they liked him, so good luck to him and we’ll see where that takes him."

Roache made four appearances for Pool last season, three of them coming in the Checkatrade Trophy, having made his first-team debut in December 2016.

He joined the club at the age of 14 and played a leading role in the youth team's recent double-winning 2016/17 campaign, scoring 30 goals in 31 matches.

The attacker has also been capped five times by the Republic of Ireland's U19 side, scoring once.

While Roache's contract expires in the summer, the club do hold the option to extend it by a further 12 months.

Despite this, The Gazette understands the club won't be taking that option and Roache is likely to leave the club.

When asked if that was the case, McPhillips added: “I couldn’t tell you, it depends on a lot of things. But an opportunity for him to play week in, week out was one that we couldn’t deny him.”

While the transfer window has now closed, Blackpool are still permitted to sign free agents.

When asked if that is an avenue the club might go down, McPhillips said: “I think the squad has got enough numbers now but if someone landed on our lap that could help make the difference then I don’t see why not.”