Manager looks ahead to Youth Cup tie with ChelseaAmongst the partisan spectators at Stamford Bridge at our FA Youth Cup fixture on Friday evening will be our first-team manager Brian McDermott – the Under-18s take on their counterparts from Chelsea for a place in the final four.
The gaffer has witnessed first-hand the impact that the youth set-up has had over the past decade at Reading, and is looking forward to seeing our future prospects in action once again at the 7pm kick-off.
“I can’t wait for the game and to see the boys play at Chelsea,” said McDermott. “It’s a massive club and we’re looking forward to going there and trying to put on a real good account of ourselves, and to enjoy the game and enjoy the occasion – and hopefully some really good performances from our players.
“There is a real sense of pride about what we’ve done here over the years, and what we’re doing at this moment here with the Academy. What Eamonn Dolan and his staff have done going forward has been amazing.
“I’ve just been told that we had five Academy graduates that started our game the other night [against Rotherham]. Our Academy is as good as anyone’s in this country in my opinion. It’s a real joy working with the younger players and to see them come through.”
The gaffer was at Molineux in round five, where he watched on to see the Royals’ Under-18s win 3-0 against their hosts in Wolverhampton – before joining the lads and staff in the dressing room at full-time.
“It was a great night,” McDermott continued. “We played really well and scored three goals; in the dressing room afterwards the lads were fabulous. It was a lovely atmosphere and it’s what our club is all about.”
Brian’s appointment to the manager’s office came just a few days after the Royals’ third-round success against Sheffield United – it took a late, late equaliser to force extra-time against the Blades, paving the way to a fourth-round date with Fulham. “That’s what Reading is about,” he said of the lads’ character that evening. “It’s what we’ve been about for many years and it’s what we’re going to be about again.”