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Academy all set for FAYC cracker at Upton Park

John McDermott is predicting a ‘fantastic occasion’ when our Academy face West Ham in the FA Youth Cup at Upton Park tonight.

The fourth round tie kicks-off at 7pm and will be decided on the night.

Both teams overcame tricky third round ties – we beat Cheltenham by the only goal at Whaddon Road on December 18, while the Hammers beat Aldershot 3-1 at the Rec on December 10 – to set-up this fascinating London derby.

Interestingly, the teams also met on January 12 with West Ham winning 1-0 in the first match of Phase Two of the Barclays U18 Premier League.

“It’s fantastic to go to West Ham, a club with a well-deserved reputation as an Academy and we always have good games against them,” said John, our Academy Manager.

“They got the better of us in a tight game recently but I think there will be a few different players on show from both sides.

“It should be a fantastic occasion at Upton Park, under lights, hopefully a few people watching and the level of expectancy on the players increases, the pressure increases and it’s good to see who can handle it.

“The more stadia the players can play in, the more big games they can play in, the more international tournaments they can play in the better. It’s the best possible preparation for the players to try and emulate what someone like Steven Caulker has done, starting for the first team against Manchester United on Sunday.”