Shields ready to take on Macclesfield Town in FA Youth Cup
South Shields’ academy youngsters are ready for the biggest game of their young lives on Monday when they take on Macclesfield Town in the first round of the FA Youth Cup.
The young Mariners won four thrilling ties to make it through the qualifying stages, and will now face the League Two side’s best youngsters at Mariners Park.
The match will kick-off at 7.30pm, with admission costing £3 for adults and £1 for concessions. All support would be hugely appreciated.
Shields beat Chorley 3-2 in an exciting third qualifying round tie last time out, and are now bracing themselves for an even bigger test.
Head of youth performance and development Jamie Williams is confident they are up to it, though.
He said: “If we’re honest, we don’t know what to expect.
“We can’t second guess what the opposition is going to look like, because first-teams are often very different to youth teams.
“All we’ve got to do is expect Macclesfield to be hard-working, really committed, technically really proficient and to be the best team we’ve played to date.
“If we can go in with that attitude and raise our own levels, I think we’ll be a match for anyone.”
Shields have beaten Stockton Town, Spennymoor Town, Gateshead and Chorley on their way to the first round.
Several youngsters have shone on the big stage and will be looking to impress further, in doing so improving their chances of future selection for the first-team.
They have had to battle well to reach this stage, and Williams has been delighted with the character shown.
He added: “Heart was a big word in the qualifying period.
“The lads learned to play with their head and they’re starting to play with a bit more heart.
“Our lads have largely stood up to it.
“Game management is the real big one that we want to try to support the players on.
“We just need to be a bit smarter when we’re ahead in the game.
“There’s still room for improvement.”
Playing on the Mariners Park stage is another big factor for the young Mariners.
Williams added: “Who wouldn’t want to play out there?
“It’s a great surface and the support has been fantastic.
“We’re so thrilled about continuing our run in the Youth Cup so we can have more nights playing under the floodlights in front of a lot of people, and against very competitive teams.”