John Murphy says Blackpool’s youth players should be extremely proud of their achievements in the FA Youth Cup this season.
The Seasiders’ Professional Development Phase Coach, speaking after the under-18s exited the competition at the semi-final stage to Arsenal, was adamant that a 5-0 defeat at The Emirates shouldn’t detract from their overall efforts to progress this far.
“The players have been superb all the way through this cup run, and should be extremely proud of themselves, and what they have achieved,” Murphy insisted.
“For Blackpool’s youth team to have played at the Emirates is a major achievement. To go from Myerscough College on the Saturday, to playing at the Emirates on the Monday shows that anything is possible in football.”
The cup run overall has seen the under-18s defy the odds to beat the likes of West Ham United, Southampton and Blackburn Rovers, and now set a standard for the younger academy players to aspire to.
“Players in the lower ages can look up to this team and see what they have done. They can look up to these boys and see that it is possible.
“The under-16s have a task to try and show that they can reach the same level that this group have. To try and replicate this will be difficult next year, but the lads coming through can see what has been achieved this year and attempt to do the same,” Murphy added.