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A fantastic journey for the lads

27 January 2022

Academy manager Steven Haslam says the Owls Under-18s have been on a fantastic journey in the FA Youth Cup this season ahead of tonight’s fifth round clash with Blackburn.

Wednesday overcame Preston in round four at Hillsborough to extend their run in the prestigious competition.

Tonight the Owls face arguably their toughest test yet against high-flying Blackburn at Ewood Park.

Rovers are currently top of the Under-18 Premier League and with a game in hand over nearest rivals, second-placed Manchester City.

But the Owls have already upset the odds once en route to the fifth round with a win over Southampton at St Mary’s back in early December.

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Haslam told “It’s been a fantastic journey for the lads and it’s one we want to continue.

“We have faced some really difficult games and we expect this one to be no different.

“Blackburn are a Category One team and they have been from the start since EPPP was introduced.

“But, we have already shown with our performance down at Southampton, against a Category One academy, what we can do. We’ll go to Ewood Park tonight and give it a right good go.


“The staff, Andy Holdsworth and Andy Sharp, have prepared the team, we watched Blackburn on Saturday and we feel we can go there and give them a good game.”

Wednesday’s route to this stage of the competition has seen wins over Burton, Aylestone, Southampton and Preston and Haslam underlined the importance of these occasions to the youngsters and their families.

“They are special nights for the lads,” he continued. “Some of them have been here since the age of seven or eight and it’s another shared experience that will stay with them.


“It has always been a prestigious competition, you think of the FA Cup for the seniors and it’s the same at this level – the experience of playing in front of family, friends and supporters in a stadium.

“Pretty much every pro in the game will have fond memories of the playing in the FA Youth Cup and will tell you how important it was to them. Hopefully our lads can go one step further this evening.”

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