Southend United U18s take on Cambridge United in the Southern Section Semi-Finals of the EFL Youth Alliance Cup on Saturday with youth team coach Dave Huzzey calling on the club’s fans to come and support the side.
Blues warmed up for the knockout clash with a 6-1 victory away to Gillingham in the league last weekend, and Huzzey is hopeful that, with the first team in action at home against Plymouth Argyle later in the day, supporters will travel to the club’s Boots & Laces training ground in the morning.
“We received terrific support in The FA Youth Cup when we played Leyton Orient and Charlton Athletic away, and it was noticeable how loud our fans were,” he said.
“It would be brilliant if some extra supporters could come to the training ground on Saturday to get behind the side and hopefully inspire the team to reach the area final.”
Both Blues and Cambridge enjoyed impressive area quarter-final victories away from home. Southend triumphed 3-1 at AFC Bournemouth whilst the U’s claimed a 2-0 success against South East Conference rivals Stevenage.
The two sides have met twice in the league already, with both matches finishing 3-2 to the teenage Shrimpers. The most recent clash, at Cambridge’s training ground, saw a dramatic conclusion as the U’s equalised in stoppage time, only for Charlie Kelman to snatch victory with the club’s November Goal of the Month.
However, Huzzey doesn’t believe previous meetings or form will determine the tie: “It is a challenge and we’ve spoken a lot about the process this season,” he stated.
“We’ve got to make sure we go into the game on Saturday exactly the same as we approached the Gillingham game, with the same mentality and the right defensive organisation to ensure we can execute our offensive play.”
The winners of Saturday’s match will meet either Exeter City or Northampton Town in the area final on 2nd February, with the southern champions meeting the northern winners later in the season in a national final.
Kick-off at Boots & Laces on Saturday is at 11:00am, with entry free for all supporters.