Cook Proud of U18s and U23s
Thursday, 29th Apr 2021 11:48
Blues boss Paul Cook says the U18s reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup, in which they host Sheffield United at Portman Road on Friday evening, is an “absolutely fantastic achievement” and also praised Town’s U23s, who joined their younger counterparts in the Professional Development League Two play-offs earlier in the week.
A semi-final tie against Liverpool or Arsenal awaits the winners of Friday’s U18s game which kicks-off at 5pm and is being shown live by the Blades here with UK-based fans able to watch free of charge.
The side coached by Adem Atay and Jason Dozzell beat Southend 4-1 at home in round one, won 5-0 away at Chelmsford in the second round, then dramatically came from behind to beat Fulham, who have a category one academy, 3-2 at Portman Road in round three.
They followed that up with a 3-1 home victory over Swindon before a 1-0 win away against another category one academy, Middlesbrough, in round five earlier this month.
The Blues are the only club from outside the Premier League still in the competition, although Friday’s opponents also have a category two academy.
In addition to their Youth Cup success, they have secured a place in the end-of-season Professional Development League Two play-offs by finishing second in their division, a feat replicated by the U23s, who are coached by Kieron Dyer and Terry Butcher, on Tuesday.
“An absolutely fantastic achievement by them,” Cook said when asked about the U18s’ Youth Cup progress.
“As I’ve said this week to the lads in the building and all around the club, I’m so proud of them, so proud of the U23 team who are winning football matches.
“The problem at Ipswich Town Football Club is the first team. The other teams are representing us fantastically well.
“We’ll be at the ground tomorrow to wish them well and what an achievement it can be for them.
“Let’s keep our fingers crossed, we’ve got so many good young players in the building and let’s hope that they can all have a really bright future.”
Town have won the FA Youth Cup on three occasions, in 1973, 1975 and 2005.
Photo: Action Images
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