Stevenage Under-18s continue their FA Youth Cup adventure tomorrow with a trip to Wigan Athletic in the third round.
The game is taking place at the Robin Park Arena, adjacent to the DW Stadium and kick-off is 7pm. Admission on the night is £5 adults and £3 concessions.
Stevenage reached this stage after two wins on the road in the previous two rounds. A 3-0 win at Aveley, despite playing with 10 men for the final 30 minutes, saw Boro's youngsters into Round 2 at Cambridge, where after a grueling 120 minutes without a goal, Stevenage won 4-2 on penalties.
Opponents Wigan, meanwhile, have seen off York City (4-2) and Lincoln City (1-0) to reach this round. The young Latics also sit top of the Youth Alliance North-West division with nine wins and a draw from their 13 games, scoring 24 times and conceding just seven.
The winner of tomorrow's tie will face either Derby County or West Ham at home in round four.
Speaking ahead of the game and the long trip up north, Academy Manager Robbie O'Keefe told us, "The boys will be in early on Thursday, about 9am for breakfast. They’ll finish off the bits and pieces they need to do in preparation for the game. We’ll travel up in the first team coach, stop off half-way then travel on to the pre-match hotel for a meal and meeting. We’ll get to the stadium and hopefully get a good result so it’s not such a long journey home!
“We’ve done lots of analysis on Wigan and looked at their strengths. We’ve looked for weaknesses too albeit they’re in a great run of form at the moment. The good thing is all good runs of form have to end, so I’m hopeful we can end that.”
Reaching the fourth round would make this squad only the second Stevenage team to have achieved that feat and Robbie says the young Boro players will go into this game with the right mentality: “I’m really strong that we should be judged on players that we produce, that’s it. Anything else is a by-product. But I’m not going to stand here and say this game isn’t important as we want to win this FA Youth Cup tie.
"The boys will go into these games fired up, looking forward to it more than the league matches. I was speaking to Ronnie Henry the other day and he remembers his FA Youth Cup games. It’s something that players remember but it shouldn’t be their biggest games if they really have aspirations to make it as professional footballers.”
Full match coverage from the Robin Park Arena will come on Twitter tomorrow night, with updates on Facebook too. Not on social media? The Boro Wall here on the official club website pulls through all our social media accounts into one handy place.
Want to know more information about the youth structure at Stevenage FC? Click here for more about our Academy, here for Player Profiles, here for Under-18 graduates, here for information on our Development Centres and Shadow Squads and here for details on our two Elite Development Programme schemes.