Blues fired up...Blues take on the Barclays U18 Premier League North outfit at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 1:00pm) - live updates will appear on the Club's Official Twitter feed during the game
Elvis Bwomono interview:
First-year scholar Elvis Bwomono is excited about the prospect of facing Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park in his first taste of FA Youth Cup football this Saturday 19th December - 1pm kick off
The full-back has been a virtual ever-present this season for Southend United U18s, including lining-up against Barton Rovers and Newport County so far in the competition. Now Blues take on Blackburn in the Third Round, and Bwomono is delighted to be involved after watching from the sidelines last season.
“Going into the season, The FA Youth Cup was a big thing,” he revealed. “When I was an U16 I did go to the stadium and watch and sample the atmosphere. Being my first season playing in The FA Youth Cup, I think it’s fantastic. There’s nothing better than doing what I love, playing in front of fans in a stadium as well. We’re having a good tournament run, so hopefully we can keep pushing on and doing what we’re doing.”
At Barton in the First Round, the former Queens Park Rangers youngster set up two goals and won the penalty from which Harry Phillips completed his hat-trick, but he sampled a different experience at Rodney Parade last month, when some fans booed him after a melee in the second half. Bwomono believes that experience will stand him in good stead for his future prospects.
“It was a whole different dimension, really, playing in front of 500 fans and they gave me a bit of stick when I received the ball, but I think that’s very good because maybe when I do step up and play in a stadium, some of the fans might not like me or how I play, so it shows me how I can adapt to prevent the fans having an impact on my game or performance, and concentrating on playing how I should play.”
However, Bwomono will be hoping to keep the Ewood Park crowd on his side on Saturday afternoon, and he’ll be drawing on what he saw from last year’s narrow Third Round exit to Middlesbrough to try to help his side deliver a different outcome and set-up a Fourth Round meeting with Leicester City at Roots Hall.
“Blackburn is going to be a very good game and I’m looking forward to it. We got back to winning ways last week, so that has put us in a better mind-frame. In The FA Youth Cup you never know what could happen, so let’s see if we can beat them, because last season we were on the verge of beating Middlesbrough; they were a big club and Blackburn are a big club, but hopefully we can get the win,” he concluded.
Dave Huzzey interview
Youth team coach Dave Huzzey believes his Southend United U18s squad will relish the opportunity to take on Blackburn Rovers in the Third Round of The FA Youth Cup.
Blues take on the Barclays U18 Premier League North outfit at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 1:00pm) and Huzzey admits that the squad are excited about pitting themselves against a leading Academy side.
“I’m excited for the boys and I’m excited myself, and so are Rick [Duncan] and Kev [Maher] and Harty [Ian Hart] and everyone involved in the Academy. The FA Youth Cup showcases the Academy and it gets a little bit more media and limelight, so we like to go out and do ourselves justice,” he said.
“It’ll be a really good experience for the boys but, like I said after the Newport County win, we’re not going for the experience or going for the occasion, we’re going there to win the game. I want to make sure that every single boy in the changing-room knows that we have been working on a game-plan to beat Blackburn and give them a real tough test. I’m sure that if the mentality is right, we will do that.”
Having defeated Barton Rovers and Newport County away from home to reach the Third Round, Southend head to Lancashire on the back of a fine 1-0 win at in-form Gillingham last weekend, and Huzzey believes that if his squad focus on their own talent in their final match of 2015, anything is possible.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say we’ve watched games already and the boys would be lying if they said that they haven’t thought about it already. That’s human nature, and it’s a big game for them. We watched 5 or 6 games, so we’ve done our homework and we’ll give them the respect they deserve being a Category One club.”
“We’ve put in the hours watching them, but most importantly it’s about what we bring to the table at Ewood Park on Saturday. I’m sure that, if the mentality is anything like it was last week and like it was in the match at Gillingham, then we’ll give them a real good test.”
“There are a few that are in and around it, there are a few that probably won’t make it through injury. It will be an exciting time, but it'll be a disappointing time for some people that won’t have the chance. However, as I’ve said all season, we’re all in this together, from the players that are out long-term to the players that are coming back to those that have been playing every week, and the boys are more in it that anybody,” he concluded.