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Academy: Ian McGuckin previews cup quarter final

26 January 2024

Club News

Academy: Ian McGuckin previews cup quarter final

26 January 2024

Hartlepool United Academy face Stockport County on Saturday morning in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup quarter final at Blackhall (11am kick-off).

Academy Manager, Ian McGuckin, looked ahead to the fixture:

“It’ll be a tough game - Stockport are in a different league so they’ll be a bit of an unknown identity for us.

“It’s the quarter final of the competition so the lads will be up for it. Cup competitions are always great because they provide these great occasions - mindset starts to come into it. 

“We’ve just got to play our game and hopefully we’ll get the right result. We've got a fully fit squad to choose from.”

Over two weeks have gone by since the Academy side were last in action.

Goals from Alfie Steel and Max Storey gave Pools three points in the EFL Youth Alliance at home to Rotherham United.

“We were 1-0 down but started to dominate as we went into half-time," McGuckin reviewed.

“The second half was all-us and Max scored two late on to give us a great victory.

“They were two great finishes to cap off an excellent team performance.

“It was pleasing to share out the minutes as well - Jack Wallace from our Elite Squad and Ashton Wood who is an U16 got some game time which is brilliant to see.“

McGuckin also issued a squad update, with a number of players going out on youth loans during the second half of the campaign.

"We've had several second-years go out on loan in recent weeks to gain great experience in senior football," he stated.

"Millen Burnett has been playing for Billingham Synthonia in the Northern League, while Joe White and Euan McBride have been at Billingham Town.

"Leo Robinson was at Redcar Athletic but they've changed their manager and a lot of their squad, so he's moved up a division into the Northern Premier League with Hebburn Town.

"Chris Lynn has joined Morpeth Town, who are only two leagues below the first team so that's great for him.

"And obviously Louis Stephenson has continued to play for our senior team - a fantastic achievement.

"It's also provided us with the opportunity to give other players more game time in the U18s which will help their development further."

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