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Gunners test for young Rovers

16 December 2016

Rovers' Under-18s kick off their FA Youth Cup campaign this Friday night when they take on Arsenal at Meadow Park.

The third round tie sees last season's beaten semi-finalists go head-to-head as Rovers' lost out to eventual winners Chelsea, whilst the Gunners were knocked out by runners up Manchester City.

Under-18s coach Billy Barr knows that they've been handed one of the toughest ties in the competition, but believes that with the way they have performed in the league this season, the trip to the capital should hold no fear.

Rovers currently sit fourth  in their Premier League U18 table behind Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool, whilst tonight's opponents are fifth in the southern division.

"It is a match between last year's beaten semi-finalists so it will be a really difficult tie for us," Barr told Rovers PlayerHD. 

"I'm happy with the draw as it gives us a chance to go toe to toe with Arsenal, I watched them the other week against Aston Villa and they are a very, very good team with good players. So it will be a nice little challenge for us.

"It doesn't matter whether it is the Youth Cup or a league game, it is a chance for the players. It is a really good tie and we hope to come out of it victorious.

"Last year it was tough in the third round against Southend at Ewood. It was the first time a lot of them had been on the big pitch with a crowd and that is the sort of thing that they will have to get used to.

"I hope that we show what we have done so far this season. We have been competitive, we like to play, we'll have a game plan to work to against Arsenal. Maybe we won't have as much of the ball as we are used to in our league, but we'll come up with a strategy for that.

"But I want us to go and show how good we are, I don't want us to keep our shape and let Arsenal have the ball, I want us to show how good we are with the ball ourselves and the creation that we've had in the games so far.

"It will be great for the lads. The experience that the 2nd years gained from it last season, and now the 1st years are going into it a little bit unaware of what is coming really, but the 2nd years' experience should help with that.

"I hope we can get through the tie and see if we can replicate last season. We'll go and give it everything that we can and hopefully on the night we can come out on top."

Kick off at Boreham Wood's Meadow Park ground is at 7.00pm. For those Rovers fans planning on watching the youngsters in action, admission on the turnstiles is £5.

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