For Reading's Under-18s, few nights in their young careers will have been more important than what awaits them this Thursday evening at Madejski Stadium...
Reading U18 vs Crystal Palace U18
FA Youth Cup, Third Round
Thursday 12th December 2019
The FA Youth Cup is the marquee youth football competition in the country, and Reading have entered at the Third Round stage of this year's tournament alongside 43 other Academy teams from the Premier League and Championship.
Crystal Palace are the opponents for the young Royals at Madejski Stadium on Thursday night, with Michael Donaldson and Mikele Leigertwood's side gearing up for a big night in RG2.
For several players, this will be their first experience of competitive football at the home of the first team, while plenty of members of the squad are likely to have played U23 football at some point for the Royals this season.
As is traditional with the competition, the highest-ability players who are eligible for the competition are set to play for the Royals on the night, as they go toe-to-toe with Palace for a place in the Fourth Round.
The tie has to be decided on the night, so extra time and penalties are possible for the young Royals if the teams can't be separated in normal time.
Should Reading make it through, they already know their next potential opponents - with an away tie at the winners of Wolves and Nottingham Forest awaiting the victors of Thursday night's tie in January.
For supporters of the Royals, it's the perfect opportunity to come and catch a glimpse at the next generation to don blue and white - while backing the boys and hoping they get through to the Fourth Round.
Tickets will be available on the turnstile at Madejski Stadium on Thursday night, for £3 for Adults and £1 Concessions.
You can pay by cash or card on the turnstiles at Gate 7 at Madejski Stadium on the night. Please note that tickets will not be available from the Ticket Office on Thursday, so please head straight to the turnstile.
Parking will be free and unreserved for supporters attending Thursday night's match, while there will also be a regular Greenwave bus service between Madejski Stadium and Reading Station.
The service leaves frequently from Reading town centre from Station Road stop SD, with fares as follows:
Adult single: £2
Child single: £1.50
Adult return: £3.50
Child return: £2.20
Group return (up to 5 people, max 3 adults): £5.
Food & Drink
Refreshments for the match will be available on the East Stand concourse. Please note that as this is an Under-18 fixture, alcohol will not be served on the concourse.
We wish to politely remind supporters that the football club is responsible for their conduct at all matches (home or away) and any person committing a football-related offence or involved in serious misconduct at any match will result in a club ban. Examples of serious misconduct include discriminatory, offensive or abusive chanting, entering the pitch, persistent standing and throwing a missile. Supporters witnessing any incidents of serious misconduct are encouraged to report this to the football club by texting 80800, beginning your message with the word SAFE.