Norwich City’s Graeme Murty urges his young guns to create FA Youth Cup history
- Credit: JASON DAWSON/JASONPIX
Norwich City's Under-18s coach Graeme Murty is urging his youngsters to create their own slice of FA Youth Cup history as they gear up for a quarter-final trip to Manchester City.
The Canaries pulled off a memorable comeback to stun Middlesbrough 5-4 after extra-time in the previous round but the task of emulating the club's 2013 winning-squad gets no easier when they travel to the Citizens' academy stadium on Monday night.
Murty has first-hand experience of what it takes to make a mark in the prestigious youth competition.
'I got to the quarter-finals (at Reading) and got knocked out at Old Trafford by a Manchester United side who had lads like David Beckham and Paul Scholes and we were frankly lucky to get nil. They were unreal,' he said. 'They had (Keith) Gillespie, (Ben) Thornley, (Robbie) Savage on the bench and both Nevilles.
'I have been in my lads' shoes and you can tell how much it stuck with me. It was a fantastic but bittersweet occasion. I want them to go and have a wonderful experience and ensure for some of them the quarter-final of the FA Youth Cup is not the pinnacle of their career.
'You look back at the players who won it for the club in 2013 and it will stay with them throughout their career. I have been very proud of the lads so far but my challenge to them is don't let this be the end of the road.'
Murty knows City will be underdogs against a home squad likely to feature some of the players blooded by Manuel Pellegrini in the Citizens' recent 5-1 FA Cup exit at Chelsea.
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'Everyone in the country, and possibly Europe, are chasing Chelsea at academy level, in terms of their recruitment and the level they are at, but Manchester City have spent a lot of money and right the way through their age groups they are hugely talented,' he said. 'They are well-coached and there is no doubt it is a test. My assistant and I went to watch them at Wigan so we have a good idea of what to expect, but my players should relish the task. The players want to show they are just as talented and we are capable on our day.'