Sheffield Wednesday: Owls kids told to enjoy centre stage in the FA Youth Cup
Coach Steven Haslam has challenged Wednesday's academy starlets to seize their moment under the spotlight tonight.
The Owls Under-18s entertain Gillingham in the fourth round of the FA Youth Cup at Hillsborough, kick-off 7pm.
Haslam told The Star: “We will be looking to win the game but we are not complacent. We are in a confident mood and we feel we have a talented bunch and they have demonstrated that on a number of occasions this season. The onus is on us dictactating the game and tempo and showing everybody what we are about.”
Wednesday’s young guns reached the fourth round after thrashing Luton Town 4-0 last month following a hat-trick by forward Jordan Lonchar and a strike by winger Fraser Preston.
“We have won the last three games playing good football and scoring lots of goals,” said Haslam. “All the players and staff are looking forward to Gillingham.There’s a bit more focus with it being the FA Youth Cup and the players have to be able to cope with a little more expectation and attention on the game.
“Obviously, we are looking to develop players for the first-team and this is one part of their development programme. It would be great if the supporters could come down to cheer us on.”
It remains to be seen whether striker George Hirst will be involved in the tie. In recent weeks, the striker has featured at senior level, making his league debut as a second half substitute against Reading.
Haslam said: “We may have George but we showed in the last round we could win without him, winning 4-0 and scoring some cracking goals.
“We have played quite a number of games without George because he’s been with the Under-23s or has been away with the first-team squad which is brilliant or he has been away with England.
“We are far from a one-man team. If we have George available then great but if not we have other players who can step forward and deliver.”
Tickets are priced at £3 adults and £2 concessions.