Tom Shaw is delighted for his Lincoln City U18 side as they host South Shields in the FA Youth Cup Second Round, describing the home draw as a “rewards for all their efforts.”
The Imps U18 squad successfully secured a place in the second round of the competition with a 1-0 away win over Shrewsbury Town two weeks ago. In form striker Jordan Adebayo-Smith scored the only goal of the night at Montgomery Waters Meadow.
Shaw explained how had been hoping for a home draw at Sincil Bank as a return for the efforts his young side have put in since the summer, with the winners of the tie playing away at West Bromwich Albion in Round Three: “All I was hoping for was a home draw because all of the scholars and boys who have played for us have been giving it 100% since the 1st July.
“I have made it tough for them at times and they have given everything they can in training and matches. We have been pretty successful and I just wanted the home tie for the players to showcase themselves in front of their own fans and also as a bit of a reward for their efforts.”
The 31-year-old believes his side will have to prepare in all areas for their FA Youth Cup Round Two fixture against South Shields on Tuesday night.
Shaw discussed the preparation going into the game as well as also praising the Imps’ opponents: “We are very aware they have got some talented players who are on the radar of Football League clubs. They have got a fantastic catchment area up in the North East which has allowed them to get players onto their full-time under 18 programme.
“They are one of the most ambitious non-league clubs in the country so when we saw the draw we were really pleased to be drawn at home but we also knew we have a tough test on our hands. This means we have to be spot on with our preparation: physically, mentally and tactically. We will have to be at our very best on the night to get the result we all desire.”
The former England C international continued by looking at South Shield’s youth setup with them being a non-league side in the competition: “I think their players will be more exposed to the first team environment at a young age, they might get an opportunity to be in and around their first team squad with them being in the Evo-Stik.
“That will aid their development a lot as they are young lads around ex-professionals and players who have been on the non-league scene for a long time. Rubbing shoulders with them types of players will give them the edge. They will also be really hungry if they are players who have been released from a professional club as they will want to get back into that level of the game.”
If the Imps beat South Shields they have the potential to play against Premier League or SkyBet Championship opposition. If the draw is an away tie this would be played at their opponent’s first team stadium.
Shaw spoke about the side’s thoughts going into their second-round clash: “I think you can’t ignore the fact that you are one win away from a potential massive tie but we have to be really professional and thorough in our preparation, which we have been already.
“We’ve had South Shields watched and we have got loads of information on their team and players. We are leaving no stone unturned.
“Going into the game we will have one lad back from suspension and one back from injury with another having the outside chance of being fit.
“We will be a little bit stronger than what we were going to Shrewsbury but the young boys who came on the trip will be there on the evening in some capacity and I am sure we will have an enjoyable experience.”
Ticket details for the game and purchasing details can be found HERE or tickets for Tuesday nights game can be purchased from the Sincil Bank ticket office.