Acid test for youngsters against Liverpool

Blackpool Youth Team. Back row from left, Paul Gray, Jamie Milligan, Ciaran Donnelly, Mark Waddington, Joe Moulden, Harrison McGahey, Connor Hunt, Sam Staunton-Turner, Andreas Pachipis, Luke Higham, Max Johnson, Tom Brakspear, Alan Bent and Steve Potter. Front row from left, Conor Ready, George Lomax, Mitchell Clayton, Dominic Telford, Connor Thurston, Rowan Richardson, Ashley Rowley, Henry Cameron, Daniel Milton, Kieran Shaw and Dion Charles
Blackpool Youth Team. Back row from left, Paul Gray, Jamie Milligan, Ciaran Donnelly, Mark Waddington, Joe Moulden, Harrison McGahey, Connor Hunt, Sam Staunton-Turner, Andreas Pachipis, Luke Higham, Max Johnson, Tom Brakspear, Alan Bent and Steve Potter. Front row from left, Conor Ready, George Lomax, Mitchell Clayton, Dominic Telford, Connor Thurston, Rowan Richardson, Ashley Rowley, Henry Cameron, Daniel Milton, Kieran Shaw and Dion Charles
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Blackpool’s youth team face Liverpool tomorrow with one instruction – enjoy it.

A decent crowd is expected at Bloomfield Road for the televised FA Youth Cup third round tie (7pm kick-off).

It’s a huge test for Blackpool’s starlets, who are currently six points clear at the top of the North West Youth Alliance.

The game, which will be broadcast live on Liverpool’s own LTV channel, is the first Premier League test for the Seasiders youngsters.

And first-team boss Paul Ince wants them to soak up the experience.

“It will be a good acid test for them,” said Ince. “They are winning games and doing well.

“I just hope the lads go out there and enjoy it. I’ll be getting involved and speaking to the players.

“They will be nervous and it’s important I show an interest. I try to get down to watch them before games on a Saturday morning. I get a lot of fun out of it.”

Blackpool’s youth set-up is run by former midfielder Ciaran Donnelly, who has been tasked with the development of players aged 8-18.

Youth team boss Richie Kyle, Jamie Milligan and John Murphy will be in the dug-out tomorrow.

Kyle was brought in by Ince in the summer and the manager is hugely impressed with the work he has done so far.

He said: “Richie has come in and done brilliantly with the lads. He’s got everything organised. I know him well. He was on the A licence course with me, so I know what he can do. The young players have a real work ethic.

“It’s also great to have structure. This club has never been structured, I don’t think.

“So we’ve got Richie in, who’s working with Ciaran Donnelly and John Murphy, and they’ve done really well.

“But I’ve told Richie the most important thing is to develop one or two players for me.

“There’s no U21s here, so there’s a big gap. If we can get one or two in, it will be great.”

The winners of tomorrow’s tie will be at home to Aston Villa in the fourth round next month.