Steven Logan

By Dan King - Newcastle United Club Reporter

Since he made his FA Youth Cup debut as a 16-year-old at the Champion Hill home of Dulwich Hamlet, Steven Logan has came a long way - and could find himself playing in front of Arsene Wenger on Tuesday night.

Newcastle travel to North London to take on Arsenal in the third round of the prestigious competition and although the game will be at Barnet's Underhill Stadium and not the Emirates, the regular under-18s skipper knows it's a "big stage" for United's young players.

The Scottish youth international midfielder has been involved for Willie Donachie and Peter Beardsley's under-21s this season, most recently in last week's 2-2 draw at the Stadium of Light, and even found himself included in the first-team squad list on the back of Southampton's matchday programme on Sunday.

But he still remembers his first taste of the FA Youth Cup two years ago, when he helped United beat non-league Dulwich 6-2 on a night when Marcus Maddison scored four times.

"That was one of my first games," he told nufc.co.uk as he prepared to board the coach for the capital. "I was involved in a couple of games before that but it was a big experience for me.

"I'd just turned 16 and it was the biggest experience I'd had until that point. It's just a competition that gets everyone going, knowing there's going to be a crowd there and that it's the highest level we get in under-18 football.

"I've been told the ground has a very bad slope but it's still a ground and there'll be supporters there, hopefully a big crowd but we'll have to wait and see."

Dave Watson's side won the Premier Academy League Group D last term as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup, but a squad made up mainly of first-year scholars and schoolboys has managed only three wins so far this term.

But second-year Logan believes the cup is a chance to forget about their struggles in the league and embark upon a new adventure.  

"We've not had the best start to the season but they'll gain experience from it and be a better side next year," he said.

"That's the way it's going to have to be but this is a fresh start. We'll have to cope along the same lines but we'll give it our all. We'll take it game by game and hopefully get results and keep progressing through it.

"Anything can happen - we've just got to go out there and battle. A lot of people are buzzing to be going down to play against Arsenal.

"Imagine if Wenger shows up? It's a big stage for us and hopefully we can go down and impress, get a result and come back with the plaudits."