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Kick off 19:00 (UK)

10 January 2024 Venue Sheffield United Football Academy Attendance

Kick off 19:00 (UK)

Sheffield United U18
1 - 0
AFC Wimbledon U18
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Match Previews

Young Dons are Bramall Lane bound!

Preview and team news for our fourth round tie

9 January 2024

Simon Clark has warned his side not to get distracted by the surroundings as our under-18s aim to extend their FA Youth Cup run at Sheffield United.

So far, the young Dons have seen off Cambridge United, Stevenage and Blackburn Rovers all on home territory, but on Wednesday evening they’re at Bramall Lane and up against a Category 2 team.

“It’s really important for the lads just to understand that we’re going there to do a job,” said Simon. “It’s all for one thing and that’s to put on a performance and hopefully win a football match.

“It’s a football pitch - it’s just got a lot of seats around it and a lot of red, but we’ll be taking a lot of blue!

“I know there’s a lot of parents and friends going up. It is a great stadium with a great history, and it’ll be a wonderful occasion for the football club.”

Dons supporters can purchase tickets on the night at Bramall Lane, priced at £3 for Adults and £1 for Concessions. For those not attending, the game will be streamed live for free, on Sheffield United's official YouTube channel.

You can listen to everything Simon had to say and read a summary of key points below.

You went to watch Sheffield United against Cheltenham in the last round, what do you make of the task ahead?

“It was a good result for them, they deserved the win, they scored with a set-play and are a strong side. They are very combative and have two formations that they generally like to play.

“We got an idea of what they're about, but we’ve prepared well and we're looking forward to the tie.” 

Our forward Tom Wilson missed the previous round against Blackburn, after having an appendix removed last month. How’s he doing?

“He’s in light training. He’s got some soreness, which we expected, but he’s trained a little bit with us.”

Irrespective of the outcome, what do you want the boys to learn as part of their development?

“I talk about it all the time with them - about playing under pressure and understanding what that feels like - and also playing in stadiums with bigger crowds. That’s really important for them.

"For me, we’ve had a scheme of work going into the game that’s relevant to Sheffield United. It’s for them to take that on because they’re going into it with an idea to negate their weaknesses, play against their strengths, and put that into place. 

"It’s all underpinned by work rate, energy, desire, honesty - all those wonderful things we want in the Academy, but it’s just understanding what they’re there to do.

"The application of the work that we’ve worked on is key.”

Academy 16.9.JPG

Plotting a Cup Upset! -

Standing: Ahmed Jama (Head of Academy Performance Analysis), Michael Hamilton (Academy Manager), Nicholas Wright (Mid Phase Manager) and new recruit Scott Harrison (Youth Phase Manager)

Seated: Jack Matthews (Academy Head of Coaching) and Simon Clark (Under-18s Head Coach)

Team news - has everybody come back fit and firing after the Christmas break?

“Yes. We didn’t have many days off. They had Christmas and Boxing Day off and then they had a short programme. They’ve come back firing and looking forward to this. We’ve been working hard and we’re okay. It’s been a good Christmas period for them.”

The squad are going to be doing an overnight stay as they represent the Club. What will be the plan for matchday?

"We’re stopping off on route and training at St George’s Park. We will train in Sheffield on the Wednesday morning. 

"It’s really important that when they’re in the hotel that they understand and enjoy the time and the togetherness, but we are going to do a job and we are representing this fantastic football club at all times.”

Main photo: Ian Stephen (Pro Sports Images).

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