Alex Gilliead

It's not the first time Shotley Bridge born Alex Gilliead has played at St. James Park but it's still going to be a massive occasion for the 17-year-old England youth international as Monday night's Tyne-Wear Youth Cup derby gets ever nearer.

After getting past Barnsley in the last round, Gilliead is relishing the prospect of taking on the red and whites:

"it's a massive game for us and one that the lads are hugely looking forward too. Who wouldn't want to step out out at such a fantastic stadium and against your local rivals too? It's a dream tie for us.

"Barnsley was a big physical test for us but we got to half time goalless and knew that if we scored early on after the restart, which we did, we'd go on to claim victory."

Aware of the Manchester United class of 92', through the recently released film, Alex, who has also played eight Under 21 games for United this season, said:

"That team was a magnificent one with six or seven of them going on to be top Premier League players. It shows how important the FA Youth Cup is and what it means to all players in each Academy up and down the country."

Alex scored the third goal in the 3 - 0 win over the Black Cats back in August but he's taking nothing for granted this time around. He added.

"Though we've beaen them twice in the the League, come Monday that won't mean a thing. I expect them to be really fired up and it's going to be very competitive. They'll want to avenge those two defeats and we'll need to be at our best and fully focused if we're to progress to the next round.

"I'm sure they'll be a good turn out on Monday, bring it on!"

So a last 16 place awaits the winners of this much anticipated tie, a match at either Derby or Stoke, but first it's local pride at stake on Tyneside on Monday evening - tickets are available priced at £3 for adults and £1 for children.