The FA Youth Cup has helped to propel the careers of many young players throughout the years… and after a breath-taking display in Colchester and a 4-1 win in the fifth round for our boys, Under-18 manager David Dodds was delighted to see the potential on show from his young players.
Make no mistake - their journey is just beginning. There is plenty of work ahead for those young Royals if they want to embark on their professional careers.
But Dodds believes that many of them have all the attributes to play at a high level, if they can keep on that upward curve…
“That is a result of some really hard work put in throughout the years,” Dodds said after the game. “You never just want to have a winning team – I saw players out there who will play in the league.
“If they keep progressing how the way they do, they’ll earn a living in the game, and that’s what it’s all about.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to get into our first team eventually – we want them to be high Championship or Premier League players. That’s a big ask, but they showed some good qualities tonight.”
The Royals initially trailed – chances were squandered by the Royals, allowing Callum Anderson to fire the U’s in front with an unstoppable strike.
But the temperament of the Reading side was evident… they kept playing football and eventually broke down a stubborn defence.
“Sometimes you can concede a goal and panic a little bit, and start to rush and hurry things,” continued Dodds. “But the lads stuck to their guns and played their way back into the game, and created more chances and took them before the interval.
“That changed the team-talk a little bit! There was a lot of patience and it was well rewarded.
“The backbone of the team is regularly in with the Under-23s with Scott Marshall, and they’re progressing rapidly. When they come back to the Under-18s, that’s what you want – you want them to look like men amongst boys. That’s what they did tonight.”