Shots V West Ham Youth

Aldershot Town Under 18s take on their West Ham counterparts in a FA Youth Cup third round tie this evening at the EBB Stadium, kick-off 7pm

The Shots will be looking to cause an FA Youth Cup giant-killing when they host West Ham United at the EBB Stadium tonight. Terry Boyle’s side progressed to the third round tie against the Hammers after impressive away wins in the previous rounds against Didcot Town and Leyton Orient respectively. Elliott Blair was the hero at Brisbane Road last month as his late goal saw the Shots register a 3-2 victory, having twice come from behind to level the scores.

As a Premier League outfit, West Ham are situated in category 1 of the youth system, and are widely regarded as having one of the best academies in the country after producing players such as Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole in recent years. However, under the guidance of Tony Carr MBE for 40 years, it isn’t just a system that has thrived in the modern era, and Terry is only too aware of the history of the Hammers and the tough match his side will face.

He said: “The success he’s had has been incredible so that’s why the club have employed him for so long. He’s been behind a treadmill of players that have come through from the academy programme to achieve first-team status. They’ve always been known as the academy because of the style of football they play and I’m sure in 2012 it’s the same as it was back in 1972. We’ve had a couple of reports and I’ve watched a few DVD’s of their recent games. You like to teach the kids to play in the right way and I’m sure it will be a hell of a test for our lads to see where we are in relation to West Ham.”

After their Youth Alliance league game against AFC Bournemouth on Saturday was cancelled it provided the squad with a few extra days to rest and prepare for the visit of the team from the capital. Aside from one of the youngsters that is currently involved with the first-team squad, Terry is hopeful that everyone will be fit for tonight’s encounter.

“We’ve got a clean bill of health. There’s a few niggles here and there but they should be fine. However, Harry Cooksley won’t be involved in the game because he is with Dean and the senior squad at the moment.”

With the game being held at the Shots’ EBB Stadium Terry is anticipating a bumper crowd and is optimistic that his team will rise to the occasion.

“I’d like to think that the Aldershot supporters will come out and back the youngsters as they gain experience and understanding of what’s required if they want to become a player at a Premier League club. I hope we give a good account of ourselves. Training is always good and I’ve never had a problem with the boys. They’re a great bunch of lads, they want to work hard and they want to achieve. They know that it’s a cup tie and there’s potential for upsets so hopefully we can be their banana skin.”