THE most promising Posh youth team of the last decade have been urged to showcase their talents in front of a healthy London Road crowd tonight (7 December).
Posh host Blackpool in the third round of the FA Youth Cup (7pm) and club officials are confident a decent crowd will be attracted to see a generation of kids described as ‘quality’ by first-team manager Darren Ferguson recently.
Chairman Darragh MacAnthony also stated that four home-grown players could break into the first-team in the next three years.
Striker Jaanai Gordon-Hutton, who sat on the first-team bench at the age of 15 earlier this season, will attract plenty of attention, but centre-back and skipper Peter Grant, goalkeeper Alex Archer and defender Michael Richens have also impressed against senior opposition this season.
Posh head of youth Dave Robertson is certainly confident his young charges will put on a good show this evening.
Robertson said: “The FA Youth Cup is a big occasion for the lads. It’s what they all look forward to throughout the year.
“It’s an important game. It’s one we want to win obviously, but it’s also a chance for the boys to showcase their talents in front of a good crowd.
“We are facing strong opposition though. We will need to be on top of our game to progress.
“I hope we get a lot of fans through the gate to see the club’s stars of tomorrow.”
Posh battled through three rounds of the FA Youth Cup last season before losing at home to Premier League Aston Villa.
Grant didn’t play in that fixture, but he and his team-mates can’t wait to run out on the first-team pitch and show how well they can play.
“We’ve all been buzzing in training,” Grant insisted. “The FA Youth Cup is something we all look forward to. It’s a chance to play on a great pitch and we’re confident we will perform well.”
Dave Robertson introduces his Posh Youths squad
Alex Archer: Alex is our second year goalkeeper who has a fantastic presence in between the sticks. He has been out on loan at Stamford and Ilkeston Town this season, putting in some strong performances both at Posh and in men’s football.
Kgosi Nthle: Kgosi is an exciting left-sided defender who has a real tenacity and willingness to defend with very good ability going forward. He is in the first year of a professional contract and we have high hopes for him.
Peter Grant: Peter has captained the youth team this season following a couple of excellent displays in the development group. A strong defender, a fantastic leader, Peter has had a very good campaign to date.
Michael Richens: Michael is a right-sided defender who again has great natural ability. He is strong in the tackle and good in the air.
Charlie Butt: A right-sided defender who has tremendous energy and a willingness to go and join in attacks.
Jack Hendry: A right-sided defender who has great technical ability and has performed well within the youth team throughout the season.
Matt Sparrow: Matt is an exciting technical player who likes to get on the ball, but also has the ability to beat opponents in one v one situations.
Tim Carey: Tim has performed extremely well this season. He is an attacking midfielder who never fails to excite you when in possession.
Tom Wood: A hard-working, tough-tackling, all-action central midfielder who has come up with his fair share of goals throughout the season.
Dan Lawlor: The machine. The boy from Bretton has put in some excellent displays and has progressed very quickly. A very good passer.
Arron Wickham: Arron has a fantastic range of passing and brings a lot of energy to the midfield.
Jacob Joyce: A 6ft 1in, strong, powerful runner. Jacob has been part of the Hinckley team that went on a fantastic run in the FA Cup and will also be playing Wrexham in the next round of FA Trophy.
Dan Evans: A centre forward who is strong and powerful. He loves to play in behind. His link-up play is very good.
Jaanai Gordon-Hutton: Jaanai is just 15 years-old and burst onto the scene this year. He is a regular in the youth and development squads and was called up to the first team for the Championship clash with Derby County. He was an unused substitute that day, but we have high hopes for him. However, he must continue to develop at the rate that he has and work hard for the team.
Ben Seymour-Shove: A centre-forward who is also a bright and dynamic midfielder. A creative player with fantastic ability.
Charlie Coulson: He is an exciting player who can play in a number of positions across the midfield. He can also operate up front.
Also in tonight’s squad are: Alex Lynch (goalkeeper), Matt Carter (defender), James Sage (defender), Levi Wright (striker), Fraser Sturgess (defender).