Wednesday 10 October
Our academy side are poised return to FA Youth Cup action tonight in the re-arranged game at New Mills with manager Kevin Wilson insisting: “The perfect carrot is there.”
The youngsters take on the Derbyshire outfit in the second qualifying round with the reward for the winners a home tie against Lincoln City.
And with the draw having been made well in advance, the victors of that tussle already know they will earn a match against League One Notts County at the first round proper stage.
“There’s no doubt it is a big incentive for the lads that we know the draw for the next two rounds. There’s something to aim at,” said Wilson.
“Potentially we could have two big games in the cards, but the important thing is that we don’t forget the task in hand – which is to try to beat New Mills.”
The match was originally scheduled for last Wednesday, but was postponed on the afternoon of the scheduled game due to a waterlogged pitch.
Wilson believes that could have been a blessing in disguise with a bug having swept through the camp, with most of his players having since recovered.
He said: “We had a bit of a flu epidemic and I gave them a good few days because I wanted to nip it in the bud straight away.
“With that recovery time we should have got the germs out of the dressing room, but you have to be careful when you are talking about 40 players.”
A mixture of first and second year academy players were used in the first qualifying round 1-0 victory over Hinckley United and Wilson expects something similar this time around.
Goalkeeper Ryan Swift is back after suspension while Ryan Osborne (pictured), who has been on the bench of the first team this season, is also available.
“We will have lads who have experience of playing at a higher level and we want to go as far as we can, but this will not be an easy game,” said Wilson.
“If we work hard enough and show that little bit of quality then hopefully we can progress.”