Ian McGuckin has called on Pools Youth Team to make the most of being centre-stage at Victoria Park tonight when they host FC Halifax Town in the FA Youth Cup (7pm kick-off).
The youngsters have made it through to the final round of qualifying after beating Morpeth Town and know that another victory this evening would heighten the excitement around the prestigious competition.
Pools are particularly eager to put on a show at The Vic after falling to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against Doncaster Rovers at the weekend – and McGuckin says there would be no better way to bounce back than by winning in the FA Youth Cup.
“The lads are really looking forward to it again,” he told us.
The objective is obviously to get through to the next round but we want to try and play well in the process, especially after a roller-coaster of a game at the weekend where we looked like winning and ended up with nothing.
“I think it’s a big thing for the lads to get to play on the pitch at Victoria Park; they’re there every week watching the First Team and helping out with things but tonight it is their stage, if you like.
“It’s always been a competition to get excited about; I remember feeling like that when I was a Youth Team player because playing in the FA Youth Cup is a big deal.
“The feelings the lads have today will be exactly what the senior players feel like when they’re preparing for an FA Cup tie – it’s exciting and we want to put in a performance.”
National Alliance League outfit FC Halifax Town made it through the Third Qualifying Round by a comprehensive 4-1 win over Abbey Hey and McGuckin knows they can’t be taken lightly.
“We’ve studied Halifax and done our homework so we know a little bit about how we think they will play,” he explained.
“But really it’s about us and we have to try and make sure that the way we set up and perform gives the opposition problems to deal with.”
Admission prices for the game are £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.
We’ll have a full report and reaction here on the Official Website after the final whistle.