Ciaran Donnelly calls on Blackpool fans to get behind Under-19s against Huddersfield in FA Youth Cup
Blackpool fans are urged to support the club’s best up-and-coming talent at Bloomfield Road tonight.
The Under-19s are in FA Youth Cup third-round action against Huddersfield Town at 7pm.
Admission is free and academy manager Ciaran Donnelly says good support will mean the world to the young Seasiders on show.
“It would be massive,” he told The Gazette. “We realise it’s cold and windy but there will be some good football on show. You’ll see a real hunger and desire from the players to try to impress.
“We try to play in a similar style to the first team. There are players who can excite people and we would love support because it means the world to the players.
“Of course they have their parents and family there, but it would be nice to have some of the genuine Blackpool supporters there to help them get over the line in a tough fixture against another Championship club.”
Under the guidance of Pool favourite John Murphy, the Under-19s are enjoying a strong season, sitting fourth in Youth Alliance North West with games in hand.
They have won through to a Lancashire Cup semi-final against Burnley and a Youth Alliance Cup quarter- final against Rochdale.
But the Youth Cup is the best stage to showcase their talent to the wider public as Donnelly explained.
“It’s the one time of the year we can prepare like a first-team game, study the opposition and really put a focus on how we’re going to play, how we’re going to win the game, set-pieces, everything that comes with being a first-team player.
“The game is under the lights at the stadium and it just has that different feel, so it’s a great marker to assess our players to see who is ready for that next stage.
“It’s a game players can really stand out in. Even though we were beaten in the first round last year, I always remember the outstanding performance from Rob Apter, who has gone on to do really well.
“We’re looking for more of the same, and the more players perform to their highest level the more likely it is we’ll get a positive result.”
Entry for tonight’s game is via turnstiles 7-10 in the West Stand.
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