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Big night for U18s

Posted on 9 December 2009  - 12:00

Alex Inglethorpe sees tonight's (Wednesday, December 9) FA Youth Cup tie at Wigan as the perfect test for our young Academy side.

Alex Inglethorpe sees tonight's (Wednesday, December 9) FA Youth Cup tie at Wigan as the perfect test for our young Academy side.

The lads travel to the DW Stadium for a 7pm kick-off in the third round of youth football's most prestigious competition.

Last season's squad reached the quarter-finals and played in front of almost 20,000 fans against Arsenal at White Hart Lane. They also won their division of the Premier Academy League and made it to the final of the PAL's end of season play-offs.

This season it's been a different story in terms of personel with a host of players learning their trade on loan.

The Under-18s have been mainly made up of First Year trainees but they appear to be getting stronger and stronger - after losing their opening two fixtures in the PAL, they've now won nine of their last 11 and skipper Harry Kane's performances earned a place on the bench in the Carling Cup tie against Everton.

Now it's the big one for every Academy player - the FA Youth Cup.

"It's a really good test," said coach Alex. "We'll have a lot of lads who won't have played in the FA Youth Cup before and it will be interesting to see how they cope.

"There are some very talented players in there but the FA Youth Cup is different.

"You have to handle the opposition, the occasion and if you've had no experience of that then sometimes it's a good thing, sometimes not.

"We expect a tough game, Wigan are a good side and we will have to be at our very best.

"A lot of nice things have been said about our players and that's great for the club. It also makes us a bit of a scalp in the FA Youth Cup and that's no different from what the first team has to deal with week to week as they are flying high in the Premier League. So as I said, it will be interesting to see how these lads cope."