Academy can go all the way

08 April 2010 09:03
NEWCASTLE Academy chief Joe Joyce claims his youthteam players will kick off this evening's FA Youth Cup semifinal with Aston Villa confident of going all the way in the competition, writes SCOTT WILSON.

Newcastle's youngsters travel to Villa Park tonight for the first leg of their last-four clash, with the return fixture scheduled for St James' Park, a week tomorrow.

It is 25 years since a Newcastle side, which included Paul Gascoigne and Joe Allon, became the last team to take the FA Youth Cup to Tyneside, but after victories over Doncaster, Reading, West Ham and Crystal Palace, Joyce says the club's current crop of youngsters is capable of repeating the feat.

Any team that gets to this stage must feel they have a chance of winning the competition and we're no different,

said Joyce. It's been a fantastic run so far and the lads are full of confidence.

There is a real steely determination among the squad and they realise the importance of this fixture. Everybody is looking forward to it and it's a great opportunity for the players to show what they can do.

But no matter what happens at the end of the game, the tie will still be alive and, over two legs, we fancy our chances against anyone.

The likes of Phil Airey, James Tavernier and Brad Inman have emerged as key performers in Newcastle's run to the last four, and the three are all expected to be involved this evening.

Newcastle will be boosted by the return of Haris Vuckic, who made a Championship appearance as a substitute at Leicester before injuries forced him to spend six months on the sidelines.

Haris will start from the bench, said Joyce. He's coming back from a long injury but the longer we go in this competition, the more he will feature and it's a boost to have him back.

Source: Northern_Echo