Norwich City fledglings face test

Norwich City academy chief Ricky Martin hopes home advantage can tip the balance in tonight's FA Youth Cup third round tie against Charlton at Carrow Road (7pm).

City's youngsters lost to the Addicks in the Academy League recently but Martin is backing his side to flourish in the cup.

'It is an exciting time of the season when the FA Youth Cup comes around,' he said. 'For a lot of the boys it is their first time to play in the stadium, in front of their friends, family and perhaps more importantly the senior members of the coaching staff at the club. They beat us 3-1 only three weeks ago and I watched them in their previous round when they were very impressive in a 4-0 victory, so we know it's going to be a tough game.'

City supporters will get a glimpse into a bright future with a squad bolstered by a talented quartet of schoolboy players.

'We have four in the squad which is fantastic for them,' said Martin. 'We haven't got everyone available but having said that the schoolboys would have possibly still been in contention because we have a really good group coming through.

'From a development point of view, it is a fine line between developing players and winning games. Look at the Man United youth team of the late 1980s and 1990s when they had the Beckham's and Scholes' and Nevilles' who won FA Youth Cups. Most good youth teams will have players who go on to do well in the senior ranks.'

Martin can also point to success closer to home with a core of his talented side that reached the quarter-finals in 2009 now blossoming in the senior ranks.

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'That was fantastic for the club at the time and now with so many pushing through plying their trade in the senior group,' he said. 'We had Declan Rudd, George Francomb, Korey Smith, Tom Adeyemi and Josh Dawkin all got professional status. If we could say four of the current group would be professionals in a couple of years time then we'd be delighted.

Supporters can pay on the gate tonight. Admission: �4 adults, �2 concessions with the Wensum end of the Geoffrey Watling Stand open.