Fixture to be held at Boreham Wood FC
ALBION'S budding young stars have been counting down the hours to a plum FA Youth Cup tie tomorrow against Arsenal.
Two of the Premier League’s most acclaimed Academies go head to head in a keenly-anticipated showdown at Boreham Wood FC on Friday evening (7pm).
This Under-18s competition remains the blue riband tournament of youth football and although it has thrown together two major contestants at the third round stage, there are no complaints from the Baggies.
“The boys have been looking forward to it from the moment they heard the draw,” says coach Aaron Danks. “They’ve been counting down the hours.
“It’s a tough challenge but just what we want. It gives the players good focus. You have no concerns in terms of motivation and attention on the game because it’s Arsenal and straight away you are switched on.
“They are not in our division this season but we played them twice last season and we know a lot a lot of their players from the Under-21s and England set-up.
“They’ve got real quality – but so have we.”
Danks believes there have been real benefits in the Club’s decision to open up Under-21s football to more of the 18s group this season without it disturbing camaraderie.
The Under-21s remain unbeaten while the 18s are fresh from once again marching into Manchester City’s turf and beating their Etihad contemporaries 1-0 last weekend.
“Many more of our 18s are playing 21s football this season but we are all one group,” says Danks. “When games come around like this, the boys filter back very easily.
“Preparation has been perfect for us and the players are really focused, have trained really well. This will test the players psychologically too – how they approach the game and how they handle a big occasion for themselves.
“It’s just what you want for their development.”