Youth team ready for Liverpool

Last updated : 30 January 2006 By Tony Scholes
Nicky Platt - ready to lead the side out against Liverpool
We all seemed to be of the same opinion, that this would be a season of struggle for the youth team. So many players had been released at the end of last season that the squad looked very inexperienced.

Now we are all football experts so 21 games and 19 wins later it is time for us all to admit that we got this one horribly wrong. By just after noon that August day we looked as though we would be eating our words as we went 4-0 up with two goals apiece from Rob Turner and Marc Pugh.

It was a shaky last few minutes with Chester pulling three back to leave us hanging on but the season had got underway and the wins have just kept coming. There were eleven of them before we drew at Carlisle and lost at home to Stockport and there have been another eight wins since.

Now tonight comes the toughest task of the lot, when we take on Liverpool on the Turf in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup. Wins against Hull and Fulham, our first wins in the competition since Chris Waddle was manager, have got us this far, but now we take on the side who knocked out last season’s winners Ipswich.

It’s going to be a tough night but there’s one thing that can be promised from this squad, they will play good football and they will give it everything they have got. Liverpool will know how tough it is going to be, their Academy Director Steve Heighway was here to see us beat Fulham in the last round.

Many of our side were rested on Saturday with only Jack Overson, Connor Smith and Rob Turner featuring in the 4-1 win over Wrexham, alongside the two players over age for tonight’s game Marc Pugh and Martin Reilly.

The squad will be similar to the one that beat Fulham in the last game and that was: Matthew Mann, Rob Henry, Jack Overson, Tom Blackler, Paul Casey, Ali Akbar, Connor Smith, Nicky Platt, Jay Rodriguez, Rob Turner, Cayne Hanley, Michael Donlan, Raph Evans, Dean Stott, Ashley Young and Dale Underwood. Fit again Adam Kay is expected to be added to the squad.

There was a decent attendance at the Fulham tie but hopefully there will be even more to see the lads tonight for the game against Liverpool. If you can get down then please come and give them your support. Admission to the Bob Lord Stand is just £3 adults and £1 concessions.

Meanwhile in the Youth Alliance League we retained our second position but the win on Saturday didn’t get us any closer to the top. Oldham won again and we remain eight points behind them with three games in hand.

Saturday’s results:

Burnley 4 Wrexham 1
Rochdale 1 Bury 0
Shrewsbury 0 Chester 1
Stockport 2 Carlisle 3
Tranmere 0 Oldham 1
Wigan 1 Blackpool 0

Next Saturday’s fixtures:

Blackpool v Chester
Bury v Oldham
Macclesfield v Carlisle
Preston v Burnley
Shrewsbury v Walsall
Stockport v Wrexham
Tranmere v Rochdale
Wigan v Port Vale

Click below to see the respective league tables and Burnley’s fixtures and results.

Res FixturesRes TableYouths FixturesYouths Table