Canaries prospects have relished challenge of FA Youth Cup in recent seasons
JASON DAWSON ©Jason Dawson
Ahead of Norwich City’s next FA Youth Cup adventure starting against Barnsley at Carrow Road tonight, DAVID FREEZER looks back on a lively recent history in the competition for the young Canaries.
Just one team have prevented super-rich Chelsea from winning the FA Youth Cup in the last six seasons: the Norwich City under-18s of 2012-13.
Neil Adams’ squad wrote their names into Canaries history with a run to the final, where they beat Chelsea 4-2 across two legs.
Otherwise, the Premier League giants have completely dominated the competition, making eight of the last 10 finals and winning seven of those.
While the likes of Josh and Jacob Murphy, Cameron McGeehan, Harry Toffolo and Carlton Morris have been busy establishing themselves as professionals in the aftermath of that 2013 success, the Youth Cup has continued to prove a competition well suited to City’s academy hopefuls.
However, Carrow Road has played host to just one of the young Canaries’ last 10 ties in the competition, thanks to a succession of away draws.
Last season a 5-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road saw David Wright’s young squad make a flying start in the third round.
Next up was a win at another Premier League stadium, beating Burnley 4-0 thanks to doubles from striker Benny Ashley-Seal – who has since departed for Stoke City – and midfielder Louis McIntosh.
Tottenham proved too strong in the last 16 though, winning 2-0 in a last-16 tie played at Stevenage thanks to goals from impressive forward Kazaiah Sterling – who made his senior debut last week as a late substitute in Spurs’ 3-0 win over Apoel Nicosia at Wembley in the Champions League group stages.
In 2015-16 a 3-1 win at Hull was followed by a 4-1 win over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light. That teed up a remarkable 5-4 win over Middlesbrough in extra-time at Carrow Road in the sixth round before the team led by Graeme Murty – currently caretaker manager of Scottish giants Rangers – were beaten 2-0 at the impressive academy stadium of Manchester City in the quarter-finals.
The low points came in 2014-15, losing 3-1 at Doncaster in the third round, after the squad defending the trophy in 2013-14 had won 6-1 at Preston only to be knocked out in the fourth round after a 3-1 loss to Watford at Vicarage Road.
There is an additional carrot on the end of the Youth Cup stick for City’s youngsters tonight though, as another home tie awaits the winners in the fourth round, at home to Manchester United or Derby County.
• Tickets are priced at £3, see canaries.co.uk for full details
• Check back to pinkun.com for updates from tonight’s game, which kicks off at 7pm