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Fans urged to support under-16s in South West cup final

6 January 2017

Exeter City to take on Bristol Rovers at Axminster Town on Friday, January 13

Academy manager Simon Hayward is urging any Exeter City fans not traveling to Grimsby Town away to come and support the under-16s side in the South West midweek floodlit cup final.

They are due to take on Bristol Rovers at Axminster Football Club on Friday, January 13, with a 7.30pm kick-off. 

The under-16s have qualified for the final by recording victories over Plymouth Argyle and AFC Bournemouth to top their group. 

The South West midweek floodlit cup, which is in its trial year, has been devised to give the youngsters a taste of competitive cup football, in a stadium environment, ahead of taking on the challenge of the FA Youth Cup at under-18 level.

Simon Hayward says the Football League representatives, who will hand out the medals and trophies after the match, will be in attendance with a view to looking at rolling out the competition nationwide. 

Entry for the event is free, for adults and children, and Simon says it would be nice if City fans could come along to show their support for the effort and hard work the under-16s have put in this season. 

The youngsters are unbeaten this campaign and there is a lot of promising young talent in the team. 

“We would like to see them continue that unbeaten run and pick up a trophy,” said Simon. “For the players’ sake, they deserve that reward. They've put in a lot of effort and commitment, training three or four times a week and playing every weekend for many years, so it would be a nice reward for all their hard work. 

“It would be fantastic for there to be a crowd there as well to show the Football League representatives that come down that there is some merit in running this type of competition and giving these players that experience in a stadium under floodlights before they get to the FA Youth Cup. 

“I think, just like the FA Youth Cup, if we could get a few hundred people out to Axminster on Friday night that would be excellent. 

“Obviously the first team are away at Grimsby and there will be a few hundred travel there, but most of the fans that watch the home games won’t go to Grimsby, so if they fancy making their way out to Axminster on Friday night instead; the bar will be open and there will be a chance to watch a promising young Exeter City team on show. 

“All the support will be welcome and Axminster FC have been kind enough to agree that we can have the entry free of charge for adults and children in the hope that persuades a few more people to come along.”

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