Coach tells Doncaster Rovers youngsters to ‘embrace the moment’ ahead of tonight’s FA Youth Cup tie with Norwich City

Doncaster Rovers under-18s
Doncaster Rovers under-18s

Youth team coach Paul Stancliffe has told his players to embrace one of the biggest games of their careers against Norwich City tonight (7pm).

Doncaster Rovers’ Under 18s welcome the Canaries to the Keepmoat Stadium this evening in the third round of the FA Youth Cup.

And Stancliffe wants Rovers’ youngsters to make sure they enjoy and learn from the experience against their Barclays U18 Premier League counterparts.

“It’ll be a good game and a massive test for us,” said Stancliffe.

“They have one of the best youth set-ups in the country so it’ll be a good barometer for our boys.

“For some of the lads it will be the biggest game of their careers.

“Some of the older ones have experience of playing at Manchester City in last season’s competition.

“But for the younger ones it will be something new. I’ve told them to embrace it, enjoy it and learn from it.

“Obviously it’s a game we want to win but at this level it’s still about the development of players.

“Hopefully there’ll be a nice little crowd at the Keepmoat to get behind the boys because most of them haven’t really experienced that before, and that is part of the learning curve.”

Rovers have already beaten Morecambe and Peterborough United at home to reach the third round stage of the competition.

Stancliffe’s side currently sit fourth in the North East division of the Football League Youth Alliance, six points adrift of leaders Hull City.

“I’ve been really pleased with them this season,” said Stancliffe.

“We had one bad performance at Mansfield but other than that we’ve been delighted with how they’ve gone about things.

“As a group they take on board what we tell them.

“We’ve played some good football but the boys have also shown that they’re willing to scrap a result out and do that side of the game too.”

Centre back Connor Williamson is an injury doubt tonight but Joseph McCormick could return after a lengthy lay-off.

Tonight’s winners will go to Swansea City in the fourth round after the Swans beat Watford this week.

Entry this evening is £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.