Our youngsters have a chance to make progress in the FA Youth Cup… but their Charlton counterparts won’t be making that easy when they play host in Welling on Tuesday evening.
While Royals Under-18s manager David Dodds believes in the ability of his players to progress, he knows that they’ll need to perform to the best of their ability if they are to earn a place in the next stage.
“We know by now how the Youth Cup works,” Dodds said. “It’s about what happens on the night; the boys have to show their qualities, and anything can happen in cup football.
“Charlton have built a bit of momentum by playing three games to get here; they’ll be getting a feel for these types of games and they won’t want it to end here.
“Our boys have been training well and looking really up for it and I believe they’ve got what it takes to progress.”
The Addicks sit fifth in the southern section of the U18 Professional Development League – and Dodds is well aware that they will offer a stern match.
“We’ve been looking at footage of Charlton together and the boys have been identifying strengths that they need to be aware of and opportunities that they might be able to exploit,” he continued.
“I’ve known their Academy manager Steve Avery for a long time – he’s a good person and he’s done a very good job for a long time – and you have to be doing a good job to be in it as long as he has been.
“Historically Charlton are a club that have created a lot of professional footballers by having a successful academy and they’ll believe that’s the case with some in this group.
“I’m a big believer that once you cross the white line, you have to match the opposition and put the preparation into practice.”