The last fortnight has seen us working towards undoubtedly our biggest game of the season which will take place on Thursday night at St James’ Park, I am of course referring to our FA Youth Cup Quarter Final against Crystal Palace.
I can’t believe that we’ve come so far in the tournament, we’re now 90 minutes away from a semi-final tie against either Fulham or Aston Villa and the excitement and anticipation is building. We’ve got a really good side this year and while I’m not surprised we’ve got to the quarter finals the challenge now will be to go out and win this game against a very good Palace team.
Newcastle last won the Youth Cup in 1985 when Paul Gascoigne was in the team and while none of the present team were even born then it would be awesome if we could emulate that success.
That said Crystal Palace are a really good side so it’s going to be tough, you only need to look at the players they’ve produced in recent times to see that it won’t be easy.
It feels as if this week has dragged on because everyone is looking is looking toward to this game at St James’ Park.
I know it’ll be a night to remember I just hope we can make it through. For some of us it’ll be our first experience of playing on St James’ so it’ll be like a dream coming true, I feel lucky because most lads my age would give their right arm to play in such a great stadium.
Everyone been buzzing in training just knowing this fixture is around the corner and you can tell that everyone is desperate to be involved. We’ve got one or two coming back from injury so it will be up to our coaches to decide how they are integrated in to the squad and what the final squad will look like for Thursday. For some I guess it will be an occasion to savour while for those not involved it’ll be a huge disappointment, I just hope I’m in the first group.
Academy Match: Derby County v Newcastle United
Our immediate task in hand this week was to prepare for an Academy fixture with Derby County so Friday was spent specifically preparing for that which I think helped a number of us re-focus or minds because we need to perform every time we turn out in a Newcastle shirt and not be distracted by the Youth Cup.
It was a long trip to Derby County (admittedly most of our away games aren’t exactly round the corner given where Newcastle is located) which seemed to take longer than it should’ve done but we were there in good time for kick off and managed to get a decent warm up in.
With the Youth Cup and the length of the trip we could’ve been forgiven for blaming that on some wayward finishing in the opening stages as we made a host of opportunities that all went un-converted but thankfully an opening goal came via Macca (insert name) who fired home after they failed to clear a corner.
We were in complete control by now and had a glut of chances to make it two but we just couldn’t seem to apply the final touch.
One nil at the interval, they caught us cold after the break catching us on the counter attack to equalise. To say I was frustrated was putting it mildly however, we responded quickly and Macca added a second before Johan Edmundsson slammed home a penalty.
Macca then completed his hat-trick with a finish from outside the box that had class written all over it. A good day at the office, just got to hope we can reproduce that on Thursday now.