Cup experience can be launchpad for youth

Darren Moore hopes Albion’s young players can use their Emirates FA Cup experience to launch long-lasting professional careers.

Morgan Rogers, who is just 16, stepped off the bench to make his first-team debut alongside fellow Academy products Rayhaan Tulloch, Rekeem Harper and Sam Field, as the Baggies were beaten 3-1 by Brighton in extra-time at The Hawthorns.  

And Moore says the teenagers should be “proud” of their contributions to this year’s FA Cup campaign. 

“They gave everything tonight,” he said. “We’re disappointed to be knocked out but there were some real big performances from some of our younger players. 

“I think they can feel proud of themselves tonight. In the end losing Hal in extra-time was just the difference between the teams. 

“With us being a man down and Chris [Hughton] able to make a couple of changes that made it a bridge too far. 

“The two younger lads can definitely feel proud tonight. Morgan made his debut tonight which is a really proud moment for him. That’s the first of hopefully many appearances that we as a football club will see of him. 

“We hope he will grow and nurture into the player we know he can be.”

Speaking to BBC Radio WM, Darren added: “We're pleased for Morgan, he's a tremendous player who's been doing ever so well in our youth sides.

"I felt tonight was his opportunity to step up and I thought he grew into the game as it went on.

"That will do Morgan the world of good.

"To think he was at college today and left at 3.15pm to report for the squad is excellent.

"It's a tremendous day for him and his family, a proud moment for the football club.

"We're really, really pleased for Morgan tonight and hopefully it's a debut from which there's many, many more appearances for the football club to come."

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