Under-18s coach looking forward to Southampton meeting
Ahead of Wednesday night’s Under-21 Premier League Cup tie against Southampton, under-18 head coach Lee Skyrme is looking forward to the challenge ahead.
A number of the under-18 squad have been involved in the previous two rounds against Torquay United and Crystal Palace – including Matt Jay, who scored the winner at Selhurst Park – and Skyrme feels that the young Grecians will relish the occasion.
“It’ll be a very tough test, but certainly one to look forward to,” said Skyrme, speaking to Fullsy and Kirky on Kellow’s Bootlaces. “Southampton are, in my opinion, one of the best academies out there and their first-team is flying at the moment with many academy graduates, and the likes of Gareth Bale have shown what they have done as well.
“I can’t speak more highly of Southampton’s academy and what they’ve done over the years. Matt Crocker went in there as academy manager and played a huge part in that transformation, and they’re a club that back their academy which is very important.
“So we’re really looking forward to it, and the players are really looking forward to it.”
Crystal Palace named an experienced squad with international experience in the last round, and City overcame that challenge and put in a performance that merited their passage to the next stage. With competition rules being as they are, there is no reason why the Saints couldn’t name some of the Premier League stars that need game-time amongst their matchday squad.
But Skyrme is also confident that the young City players will play their usual game, which has wowed anyone that has had the pleasure of watching them so far this season.
“Teams can play three over-age players and an over-age goalkeeper if they feel the need to do that, so there could be the likes of Ricky Lambert turning up to give the likes of Jordan Moore-Taylor a test at the back,” continued Skyrme.
“Our lads will get the ball down and pass and move it quickly, and they’ll try to be bright and clever with it. We’ve got players that will run at people and clever combinations – hopefully that’s what you’ll see from us on the day and hopefully we’ll match Southampton in possession too.”
Entry is £5 for adults and £1 for concessions – click here for admission details for the fixture. And to listen to Lee Skyrme’s appearance on this week’s episode of Kellow’s Bootlaces, just click here to go to the Radio Exe podcast page.