GALLERY: Meet Ipswich Town's under-18s to face Sunderland
PUBLISHED: 18:04 10 December 2013 | UPDATED: 18:04 10 December 2013
Ipswich Town's youngsters have been urged to seize the moment and impress the watching Mick McCarthy in the FA Youth Cup tomorrow night (Wednesday, kick-off 7pm).
Town’s under-18s, managed by Gerard Nash, face Sunderland in the Third Round of the competition, which was won by Norwich City last season.
Academy director Bryan Klug, pictured, is under no illusions that the chances of replicating his side’s Youth Cup final success in 2005 are slim, but insists an opportunity for players to showcase their skills in front of McCarthy shouldn’t be passed up.
“If there is anything they desperately need to know about Sunderland, then we will tell them,” said Klug, who is expected to field promising youngsters such as Kyle Hammond and Byron Lawrence.
“It’s a massive part of the game to be able to stop an opponent when you reach the senior game, but that’s for the future.
“At this stage, with the manager watching, they have got to be able to show what they can do with the ball.
“It’s about how they express themselves and deliver their skills. If they can’t do that then worrying about Sunderland is not going to make any difference.”
Klug was in charge of the Youth Cup-winning team of 2005 when the Blues defeated a young Southampton squad featuring Theo Walcott and current Town striker David McGoldrick.
“The 2005 win seems like yesterday and I think this current crop of players are aware of the club’s history,” said Klug.
“I think it’s become more difficult to win now because of the way the bigger clubs have become more professional, if you like, in terms of the way they play and their recruitment.
“But it can be done. That’s why we love the game so much.”
Exciting 14-year-old Andre Dozzell, son of Town legend Jason, who played 90 minutes for the under-18s at the weekend is ineligible due to the competition’s age restrictions.
More on the game against the Black Cats with Gerard Nash and Kyle Hammond in Wednesday’s EADT and Ipswich Star