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FA YOUTH CUP PREVIEW: DONCASTER ROVERS

17 December 2014

Coach considers competition a chance to impress

JERRY Gill has urged his U18s side to seize the moment ahead of tomorrow’s FA Youth Cup Third Round visit to Doncaster Rovers (7pm).

City’s first match in this season’s tournament was set up courtesy of Rovers defeating Peterborough United in the previous round, and Gill told canaries.co.uk: “We’ve been to watch them, and they’re a well organised outfit which you expect from the category status they are in.

“It will be a tough game, and there’s no given in any game. In the FA Youth Cup the smaller teams will raise their game against us, but we’ll go out and play our way which we have to do because that’s the way we’ve played this season.

“We’ll be prepared for it, and will be heading up there to try and get a result.”

The Club has substantial recent pedigree in the competition, having clinched the trophy with a famous two-legged Final victory over Chelsea during the 2012-2013 season.

Many of the players involved in that squad, such as Harry Toffolo and Jacob Murphy, have since gone on to establish themselves in loan spells away from Carrow Road, and Gill added: “We want these boys to go out on loan and experience league football.

“There’s a pathway for them there, and a route where people look at us as a Club and see we’re doing things right at U18 and U21s level. There’s an opportunity to go out and play some league football, but you have to make sure it’s the right time.

“They need to learn their trade with us before they do that, and the Murphy twins are a great example because they’ve come through the system and had exposure to first team football within the Club and outside the Club.

“There will be scouts watching, so a few of these lads may get the opportunity to go and do that as well.”

Such a pathway towards potential first team football is eased by the extensive awareness of the Academy set-up held by City manager Neil Adams, with Gill commenting: "He was the first to text me on Saturday night after his own game to say he’d heard the practice match had gone well at Colney.

“He’d just finished a Championship game at Carrow Road, so that shows he’s still heavily involved in the Academy. Of course he’s going to have an interest in us, as he knows a lot of these players.

“If I was a player in this Academy I don’t think there’s any better time to be here and put on performances to show you’re capable of going across [to the first team]. Neil has shown if the lads are good enough they will be given a chance.

"When we go up there on the evening it’s down to them to make sure they concentrate on the game and ensure they’ve given it everything they possibly can physically and mentally to get the right result."

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