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Young Sky Blues Hunt Cup Glory

Coventry City’s youth players are hoping to take the first step to making club history in the FA Youth Cup semi-final against Southampton tonight.

If they can take a good lead at Highfield Road, it will set them well on the way to their second FA Youth Cup final in successive seasons – a feat never before achieved by a Coventry team.

They lost the final last season to West Ham United’s phenomenal youth team which contained the brilliant Joe Cole, who is now earning rave notices in the London club’s first team.

But this time the City team is older and wiser. Most of the players who played in last season’s final are still young enough to play in this season’s competition and the experience of going all the way last year has helped them.

In the meantime several of the side have progressed to the fringes of the first team and have gained experience playing regularly at reserve team level.

Richard Money, Director of Coventry’s Soccer Academy says:

"Robert Betts, Craig Pead, Gary McSheffrey and Lee Fowler have been in the first team squad while Tom Cudworth and Daniel Hall have been reserve team regulars.

"All have acquitted themselves well and we have some decent young players who hopefully will gel to give a good performance against Southampton."

Coventry clearly will not underestimate their opponents.

"Any team which reaches the semi-final stage has to be respected, but over the last 18 months I think we have proved to be one of the best youth sides in the country," said Money.

He added:

"It would be nice to get a lead in the first leg, but it will not be the end of the world if we don’t, because we have actually played better away from home this season."

The winners over two legs will play either Arsenal or Middlesbrough. The young Gunners take a 1-0 lead to Middlesbrough in the second leg of their semi-final.

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'Coventry City - the Elite Era' by Jim Brown

CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 28 Mar 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM