Youths bid for cup glory

FA Youth Cup Final 2005 Second LegIpswich Town v Southampton, 7.45 pm Portman RoadScore 2-2 from the first leg.George Best, David Beckham, Michael Owen, John Wark, George Burley are among the illustrious players who can count the FA Youth Cup among their successes.

FA Youth Cup Final 2005 Second Leg

Ipswich Town v Southampton, 7.45 pm Portman Road

Score 2-2 from the first leg.

George Best, David Beckham, Michael Owen, John Wark, George Burley are among the illustrious players who can count the FA Youth Cup among their successes.


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And tonight another group of the best young players in the country look to add FA Youth Cup winner to their personal CVs.

English and Irish, Scottish and a couple of other nationalities feature at Portman Road tonight.

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The first leg of the final between Saints and Town was a pulsating affair full of atttractive football in front of nearly 10,000.

Another big crowd is expected at Portman Road tonight to see the second performance.

Academy director Bryan Klug said: “It is a great occasion and it deserves a good crowd, the first time we have been there in 30 years.

“We have a very good squad of players but it doesn't always follow that gets you to the final.

“We have been very pleased with the standard of football the boys have played.

“That this is the first time in 30 years reflects well on everybody involved here.

“We are trying to teach people the right way to play football, that is the our main concern.

“You want to able to win finals as well.

“As our cup run has gone on it has become more important.”

“It is a youth cup final, although not the champions league, it is a there to be enjoyed by everybody.

“There are two very good teams going to be playing.”

Honours are even from their first game at St Mary's on Monday.

Unfortunately for Ipswich away goals do not count double in this competition.

If they did Cathal Lordan's two strikes could prove even more valuable.

Ipswich striker Billy Clarke is still on crutches with the knee injury suffered at in the semi-final at Spurs and so will miss out.

But he will be cheering the lads. “It is terrible missing out,” he said, “I will be kicking every ball from the bench. My target is to be back for pre-season.”

Bryan Klug added: “It is a shame for Billy, he is a fantastic player and been our best player on several occasions. He has an exciting future and will play in a lot of big games in his career.”

And defender Michael Synnott said: “We are hoping for a big crowd, that would be fantastic.

“Somewhere near 15,000 would be great.

“The last final I was in was the All-Ireland cup final back home.

“Our families are coming over from Ireland for the game.

“It will be special for us.”

For Saints defender Kyle Critchell, who injured an ankle in their sem-final against Wolves, could return.

Southampton striker Leon Best is up-beat. He said: “It is evenly balanced for the second leg but we fancy our chances now that we know what they are about.

“If everyone plays well, I don't see anyone can beat us. But they are a good side and we will have to be at our best.

“It was disappointing they got those two goals after we had taken the lead but they were great strikes. And we showed our character to come back.

“It is a one-off game and we have to give it everything.”

Tonight the Cobbold Stand, North Stand (lower) and Greene King (lower) will be open.

Ticket prices are £8 for adults, £1 for children.

Gates will open from 6.30 pm and tickets can be bought in advance from the ticket office and club shops.

If the scores are level at 90 minutes there will be 30 minutes extra time and then, if necessary, penalties.

Squads:

Ipswich Town: Supple, Synnott, Krause, Moore, Trotter, Collins, Casement, Lordan, Knights, Garvan, Craig, Hammond, Reynolds, Ainsley, Haynes, Sheringham, Beveridge, Haverson. Coach Bryan Klug.

Southampton: McNeil, Richards, Wallis-Tayler, Rudd, Cranie, Walcott, Dyer, James, Sparv, Best, McGoldrick, Bale, Jones, Lallana, Condesso, Dutton-Black, Critchell. Coach Steve Wigley.

Referee: Andre Marriner, assistants Gary Sutton and Graham Stott. Fourth official Rob Lewis.

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