Norfolk youngsters begin defence of FA County Youth Cup with long trek to Cornwall

Norfolk Under 18s celebrate after winning the FA County Youth Cup last season Picture: Bryn Hughes

Norfolk Under 18s celebrate after winning the FA County Youth Cup last season Picture: Bryn Hughes - Credit: Archant

Norfolk begin their defence of the FA County Youth Cup today when they make the long journey west to face Cornwall's Under 18 representative squad.

The management team, headed up by Norfolk County FA chief executive Gavin Lemmon, have selected a strong squad of players to represent the county in this second round match after two trial evenings held at the FDC at Bowthorpe.

Norfolk arguably head into the competition as one of the favourites having won the title last year after beating Staffordshire 2-0 in the final at the Bet 365 Stadium, home of Stoke City Football Club.

The long trip is nothing new to Norfolk – who left the FDC yesterday morning – last season's exploits included treks to Northumberland and the Isle of Man en route to the final

Norfolk were given a bye in the first round, while Cornwall overcame Bedfordshire 5-0.

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Lemmon spoke of his excitement of the task ahead as Norfolk look to defend their title.

'We are really looking forward to this season's competition which sees us attempt to be the first County FA to ever retain the national cup,' he said.

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'We want representing the County FA to be a positive experience for the players and one that they enjoy being part of.

'We'll be asking them to play with no fear and to go out and express themselves.'

The game kicks off at 11am at Kellaway Park.

Norfolk squad: Alie Bangura (Dereham Town), James Bemrose (Long Stratton), Jack Cottingham (Gorleston, Norwich Ceyms), Reece Crowe (Norwich United), Jordan Forbes (Norwich United), Josh Ford (Great Yarmouth Town), Harrison Gilding-Hewitt (Wroxham), Lewis Johnson (Norwich CBS), Max Lane (Norwich United), Connor Milligan (Wroxham), Owen Murphy (Dereham Town), Brady Philpott (Gorleston), Emre Upston (King's Lynn Town).

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