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Sheron: It's an opportunity to impress

There's FA Youth Cup action under the lights at Ewood Park on Tuesday night, with Newport County the visitors

16 December 2019

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Academy chief Mike Sheron says his youngsters should grab the chance to play at Ewood Park with both hands when the third round of the FA Youth Cup takes place tomorrow.

Newport County make the long trip to East Lancashire from Wales having reached this stage of the competition for the first time in their history.

Rovers were dumped out of the competition at this stage last term at home to Gillingham, and will hope lightning doesn't strike twice when County visit.

It'll be Sheron's first taste of the FA Youth Cup as Under-18s boss following his appointment in the summer, and the 47-year-old says it's a competition that he and the youngsters are excited for.

“It’s a very prestigious tournament and something that we always look forward to every year," he told iFollow Rovers ahead of the tie.

“You always want to do as well as possible because you only get two chances at it, two bites of the cherry.

“The lads are motivated, even in pre-season one of their targets is to try and do well in the competition.

“We try and play it down, it’s just another game, but it’s a pressured situation so we hope we have players that can handle it.

“It’s cup football, it’s real, it’s competitive. Category Three teams want to get a Category One scalp and it’s important that we compete.

“We have to show what we're good at and try to come through the tie in any way we can.

“It’s about how the lads develop and how they handle the pressure of playing under the lights in front of the eye of the first team manager."

Many of the squad will be turning out on the hallowed Ewood Park turf for the first time in their young careers.

And Sheron adds that they must relish the chance to play in front of a crowd and under the gaze of first team boss Tony Mowbray.

“It’s different for them to play at Ewood Park, but it’s just a game of football, it’s still 11 v 11 and you’re still playing on a grass pitch," he said.

“Ewood Park is where they want to get to eventually and it’s a great opportunity for us to do well and enhance their learning development.

“The lads are getting excited and more intense and this competition does help to motivate the players."

Kick-off on Tuesday evening is at 7pm, with admission priced at £4 for an Adult ticket and £2 for a Concession.

Please note that Season Ticket holders, 1875 Club memberships and Junior Rovers memberships aren't valid for free entry.

Payment is taken on the turnstiles, with no advanced tickets available.

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