FA Youth Cup: Saints vs Rotherham

By SFC Media Tue 04 Dec Saints v Rotherham
Photo by James Bridle

Get the lowdown on the young Saints' midweek FA Youth Cup opponents, Rotherham United...

THE MATCH

Southampton U18 vs Rotherham U18
FA Youth Cup
St Mary's
Tuesday 4th December, 7pm GMT

Saints won't be taking anything for granted when they host Rotherham United in tonight's FA Youth Cup clash at St Mary's.

Their cup journey began well last year, beating Wolves 4-1, before losing out to Blackpool, who like Rotherham, play league football in the tiers below.

Paul Hardyman's side enter off the back of a confidence boosting 4-1 win over Norwich, while the visitors suffered recent league and cup defeats to Hartlepool.

The Millers, also making their 2018 Youth Cup bow, tend to play regionalised fixtures around their Yorkshire home, as part of the EFL Youth Alliance League, with the trip to St Mary's by far their longest of the season.

One of the most prestigious competitions for a young footballer, players of the calibre of George Best, Paul Gascoigne, David Beckham and Michael Owen have all played in FA Youth Cup-winning sides.

PREVIOUS FIXTURE: Saints 4-1 Norwich (Ferry, Robise, Fleary, Norton)

ROTHERHAM'S PREVIOUS FIVE:

Nov 14: Hartlepool 2-1 Rotherham
Nov 10: Hartlepool 2-0 Rotherham
Oct 28: Rotherham 2-5 Doncaster
Oct 22: Rotherham 2-2 Grimsby Town
Oct 8: Scunthorpe 1-0 Rotherham

PLAYER'S THOUGHTS

We sat down with three Saints youngsters to get their thoughts ahead of kick-off...

Under-18s winger Will Ferry said: "Playing at stadiums, especially Southampton's is always a big occasion.

"It's something that I and the team will cherish. It's a bit surreal in a sense, to think that Man United were playing on this same grass just a few days prior."

Under-18s goalkeeper Jack Bycroft said: "For any player, at any age, it's a big stage. Me being a Southampton fan, it's a big stadium and hopefully we have a bit of an audience.

"I'm usually sat in the crowd watching, so it's an honour to play on the pitch. There will be initial nerves but we've got what it takes.

"The occasion is bigger and better. I've always wanted to play for Southampton's first team, and this is one step closer." 

Under-18s forward Christian Norton said: "The Youth Cup is such a special competition because you can play teams from all levels.

"It's a tournament, with a cup at the end, so obviously we want to go as far as we can.

"There's a lot of important people watching - they can change your future. So it's a huge platform for us as individuals, and a team, to show what we're capable of." 

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