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Youth Team In FA Youth Cup Action

2 November 2016

Blackpool Face Bolton Wanderers

Ciaran Donnelly is looking for his side to pull off an upset when the under-18s face Bolton Wanderers in the FA Youth Cup this evening, kick-off 7pm.

The Seasiders' Academy Manager is determined to see the youth team progress in the competition after watching strong performances in recent years go without reward. 

"We want to play more than one match this season, we've got a tough first round draw once again but we're very confident and we've had a really good season up to now. The stage is set for our lads to give a good performance and show people how good they are," Donnelly said. 

"In the last three years we've played Liverpool and took them all the way to penalties, we took a hugely-funded Birmingham academy to extra-time and then lost in extra time last season to a Crewe side renowned for its academy. We've been really close and the challenge tonight is for our lads to not be the nearly man of former years and instead go and get a good scalp. 

"Bolton are a category two academy and it will be a big ask of our players, but we've worked hard over the last few years to produce players and we're really confident in this group."

The youth team go into the match on the back of a free weekend which has allowed players to get up-to-speed following injury.   

"It's been a help in some ways and a hindrance in that we haven't been able to get our 11 together to play a game before this game. There's positives and negatives but a free weekend has allowed us to fully prepare and get everybody back in training," Donnelly admitted. 

"We've got a full squad to pick from, which we haven't had for the last few weeks. We're going to need everybody and we're going to need them all fighting fit."

Set to be backed by the first-team coaching staff and some of the first-team squad, admission to the fixture at the Macron Stadium is priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.   

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