Chris Beech hailed Rochdale’s promising youngsters as a “lower league class of 92” after they helped the club to another feat of FA Cup giant killing against Nottingham Forest at the weekend.
Peter Vincenti’s 12th minute penalty proved decisive for Dale, whose victory was made all the more momentous by the inclusion of six homegrown players in their squad.
Jamie Allen, Joel Logan, Callum Camps and Scott Tanser all impressed against Forest’s multi-million pound team while Andy Cannon and Johny Diba Musangu were named as substitutes.
Remarkably five of the six had faced Forest in the FA Youth Cup just two years ago and Beech, who was their mentor before stepping up to assist Keith Hill with first-team affairs, was keen to laud the achievements of the players he first worked with as apprentices.
“To win the game by one goal is excellent and it could’ve been more but at the same time Forest kept going for Stuart (Pearce). They had a lot of corners in a short period but we defended them very well,” Beech said.
“It was 60 years or so to get to the third round, I’m not sure if we’ve ever got to the fourth round in consecutive years and it’s good financially for the football club.
“I was fortunate enough to hand most of those players their scholarships and now they’re playing against million pound players and the likes of (Britt) Assombalonga a £5million pound player, it’s unbelievable.”
“I’d consider to have six home-grown players in that squad a real big deal. It’s very difficult for people to take notice at a lower league club actually, a lot of youth coaches out there do great jobs and nobody is that interested until days like today so it needs a major celebration.”