‘I want to play in the Football League’ – meet Mydas Smalls, the Suffolk teenager who made FA Cup history

PUBLISHED: 11:13 03 September 2020 | UPDATED: 11:47 03 September 2020

Mydas Smalls is congratulated by his Whitton United team-mates after scoring against Ipswich Wanderers. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Mydas Smalls is congratulated by his Whitton United team-mates after scoring against Ipswich Wanderers. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

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Mydas Smalls, who became the youngest player to score a goal in the FA Cup on Tuesday night, is targeting more goals in the competition for Whitton United this season.

Mydas Smalls, left, Tyger's younger brother, in action against Ipswich Wanderers during Whitton United's 4-3 win. Smalls became the youngest player ever to score in the FA Cup. Picture: PAUL VOLLERMydas Smalls, left, Tyger's younger brother, in action against Ipswich Wanderers during Whitton United's 4-3 win. Smalls became the youngest player ever to score in the FA Cup. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Classy midfielder Smalls, who comes from Red Lodge in West Suffolk, netted a slick goal to put Whitton 3-2 up during the midweek 4-3 victory over Suffolk rivals Ipswich Wanderers in the extra-preliminary round of the competition.

Now the 16-year-old, who is eying up a long-term goal of playing in the Football League for a big club, is hoping to extend Whitton’s run in the FA Cup, as well as making an impact in the Thurlow Nunn Premier over the coming weeks and months.

Smalls, at the age of 16 years and 63 days, beat the previous record for the youngest goalscorer in the FA Cup by just three days - Welshman George Williams was aged 16 years and 66 days when he scored the sixth goal in a 6-0 win for MK Dons over Nantwich Town in November, 2011.

In addition, Smalls is believed to be the seventh youngest player to make an appearance in the FA Cup.

It all bodes well for his future, although for the moment Smalls will be combining starting A-level studies at County Upper School in Bury St Edmunds with his footballing career at Step Five level.

“I’ve got a taste for the FA Cup now, and hopefully there are more goals to come this season,” enthused Smalls.

“I knew I would be one of the youngest players to play in the FA Cup, because I only turned 16 a couple of months ago.

Mydas Smalls homes in on goal for Whitton United, against Ipswich Wanderers in the FA Cup. Picture: PAUL VOLLERMydas Smalls homes in on goal for Whitton United, against Ipswich Wanderers in the FA Cup. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

- Whitton United 16-year-old becomes youngest goalscorer in the FA Cup

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“I also knew there was a fair chance I could become the youngest to score a goal, so I kept trying to get into scoring positions. I wanted to get the record, and I would have liked it to have been the winning goal, which unfortunately it wasn’t.

“I didn’t see the keeper coming out, but I managed to poke the ball home. I guess it was an instinctive finish.

“It was a very open game, and I was beginning to get a bit tired because they (Ipswich Wanderers) had three in midfield, so it was often two against three in that area of the pitch. It was hard work, with a lot of running and they put us under pressure,” added Smalls, who is a big Liverpool fan.

He comes from a big footballing family, his older brother Tyger Smalls having had a trial with Arsenal earlier this year after making a big impact at Haverhill Rovers. His younger brother Magic is also a talented footballer.

“Whitton is a good family club, and I’ve signed for them because they give lots of opportunities to younger players,” continued Smalls.

“They have a good coaching set up, with Shane (Coldron) and James (Bloomfield), and I really want to push on in men’s football this season, establish myself and make a name for myself.

“It feels like I’m part of a family, even though I’ve only played four matches so far, three friendlies and then the FA Cup game. It’s a very friendly club.

“It helps to have footballing brothers as well. We all push each other on. There’s a rivalry, but a friendly rivalry.

“I think playing men’s football at a young age is a good way of getting into the professional game.

“And that’s what I want to do. I want to end up playing in the Football League, for a top side.

“Whitton is a good place to start out, to get a foundation. It will put me in a good position to go higher in the game.

“And I have no fear when I go onto the pitch.

“It doesn’t matter how big or tall the opponent is, I love it. It comes naturally to me,” added Smalls.

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