Blackburn Rovers’ Under-18s side will battle it out with seven other top academy sides in a bid to become national Under-18 Premier League champions.

Rovers finished the regular Under-18 Premier League season in fourth position in the northern section behind Premier League giants Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool to qualify for the Merit Group stage of the competition.

Those four clubs will be joined by Chelsea, Arsenal, Reading and West Ham United from the southern section as the leading Under-18 Premier League clubs challenge in a final mini-league for the right to be crowned the national Under-18 Premier League champions.

Blackburn Rovers’ senior side have battled against both financial instability and relegation to English football’s third tier in recent seasons but despite the club’s struggles both on and off the pitch, their academy system continues to produce quality players.

Rovers’ Under-18 Premier League Merit Group fixtures can be found below:

Saturday 18 March – Liverpool (a)

Saturday 1 April – Reading (h)

Saturday 8 April – West Ham United (a)

Saturday 22 April – Chelsea (a)

Saturday 29 April – Arsenal (h)

Saturday 13 May – Manchester United (a)

Date To Be Confirmed – Manchester City (h)

Blackburn Rovers Under-18s are managed by former Halifax Town and Carlisle United defender Billy Barr and the team play their home fixtures at the club’s Brockhall training ground.

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I am Dan Pentland and I am a York City season ticket holder and volunteer for men's health charity Prostate Cancer UK. In May 2015, I completed my childhood dream of visiting all 92 Football League grounds. Follow me on Twitter @DanPentlandpcuk and Facebook