Youth team coach pleased with FA Youth Cup progress at Barton Rovers.
Youth team coach Dave Huzzey praised the professionalism of his Southend United U18s side after they defeated Barton Rovers 6-1 to progress to the Second Round of The FA Youth Cup.
Blues scored six against non-league opposition in the First Round of the competition for the second season in succession, and Huzzey was delighted with the way the squad went about their work at Sharpenhoe Road.
“I’m really pleased for the boys. I thought it was a really professional performance. This is what The FA Youth Cup is all about; getting the result and getting into the next round, and they’ve done that with a good performance,” he said.
“They did everything right in the week and after the Bournemouth game, and today I think they’ve been magnificent. Fair play to the club for putting everything on for us because they’ve been treated like pros and I think that’s why the performance was as it was.
“It reflects brilliantly on the Academy from U9s to U16s and the youth team, but it reflects well on the club that we’ve done everything right with the performance on the pitch and off the pitch,” he added.
Southend hit the woodwork twice in the opening eight minutes before finally taking the lead, instigating a clinical spell of four goals inside a quarter-of-hour. Harry Phillips restored the four-goal lead shortly before half-time before Damani Dias' injury-time finish ensured Blues edged the second period.
“The boys got out of the blocks really, really well," opined Huzzey. "They took on everything we said to them before the game and I thought they were class, especially in the first 30 minutes when they managed the game really well.
“I was a little bit disappointed in the second half that we didn’t kick on and get a few more, but that has been the story of the season – at Cambridge, at Dagenham – we’ve always done that in the second half. But the pleasing thing is that we’ve won both halves, and we didn’t do that in either of those games.”
And, with Abdul Salami, Joe Mackenzie, Dan Walker and Norman Wabo all joining Phillips and Dias on the scoresheet, Huzzey was happy with the all-round contribution of the team ahead of their next challenge in the competition which will see them travel to Rodney Parade to take on Football League Youth Alliance South West Conference side Newport County.
“It was impressive, and it’s what we’ve wanted all season. We want different players contributing to the goals, and they’ve done that tonight. I thought Dan Walker was a little bit unlucky that he didn’t get a few more because his work-rate and performance and everything he did tonight, deserved more goals and it’s a shame he didn’t notch a few more.
“It’s brilliant when six different goalscorers can get on the scoresheet. It just shows that we can create from all different types of chances and all different players are good enough in the box to finish.
“It’s always a special occasion in The FA Youth Cup because it means a lot to the boys. We’ll prepare the boys again exactly as we did tonight and, if they can react as they did tonight, I’m sure we’ll be alright,” he concluded.