Doncaster Rovers youth team will give it everything they’ve got tonight against the arisocrats of Chelsea in the third round of the FA Youth Cup at Staines.
The young Rovers players will have the best possible preparation to take on the expensively assembled Chelsea squad after staying overnight in a hotel near Heathrow airport and then having a run-through of set pieces at Queens Park Rangers’ training ground this morning.
Head of youth at the Keepmoat Stadium, Paul Wilson, told The Star he’s confident his players are ready for the big occasion.
“There’s two ways of going about a match like this. We can either allow them to dictate or we can have a right good go,” he said.
“They’re (Chelsea) taking it serious; they have been to watch us a couple of times. We’ve seen them play, talked to lots of people and seen DVDs.
“It’s hard to know which side they’ll put out because they have such a big, talented squad.”
While Rovers, who’s match on Saturday against Burton was postponed, pick up talented youngsters from the Doncaster area and the Yorkshire region such as 17-year-old left back James Husband who recently signed a professional contract, Chelsea scour the globe for potential world beaters.
The Chelsea line up could include players from as varied a background as Sam Bangura from Sierra Leone, Nathan Ake, a Dutch youth international, Anjur Osmanovic, who is a Swedish under 17 international, John Swift, and England schoolboy international midfielder, England Youth international Lewis Baker, Austrian under 17 international Philipp Prosenik and Adam Nditi who arrived in London as a 12-year-old from Zanzibar, Tanzania.
On paper, at least, there should be a gulf in class. But Wilson says he has no doubts about his players ability to compete.
He said: “I’m delighted with the progress we’ve made. We’re in good form and have a number of lads who are knocking on the door of the senior squad.
“If, at the end of the season, we can keep hold of a few of them then we’ll have done our job. We’ll enjoy the occasion but we’re there to have a go and that is what we’ll do.”