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Turner-Cooke targeting Youth Cup fifth round spot

Written by Luke Vinton

Teenage winger Jay Turner-Cooke believes Newcastle United Under-18s can replicate last season's FA Youth Cup run ahead of Monday's fourth round tie against Colchester United (kick-off 7pm GMT).

Peter Ramage's side claimed a 3-2 away win at West Ham United in round three, with Turner-Cooke netting an 89th minute strike inside of Michael Ndiweni's second-half brace. 

Their reward is a home tie against the U's, who knocked out Arsenal in an impressive 3-0 victory and Turner-Cooke - who has netted four goals in his last six games at under-23 level - is relishing the cup clash at St. James' Park.

"We're really excited," the 18-year-old, who joined the Magpies' youth set-up from Sunderland in January 2021, told nufc.co.uk. "It was a great experience against West Ham in the last round, going down to London the night before.

"Everyone was looking at us as the underdogs for that game but we took great motivation from that to go down there and try to get through, which we did.

"The preparations we had for that game made us feel very professional and we'll be aiming to do the same to get another good result.

"These games are definitely ranked at the top for our season. You look for the Tyne-Wear derbies against Sunderland but, especially at under-18 level, the Youth Cup is the biggest competition there is so we always look out for the dates when you could be playing. 

"We can't take Colchester for granted as they beat Arsenal 3-0 so we'll be working hard in training and making sure we prepare right to try and progress into the next round."

The young Magpies last won the FA Youth Cup in 1985, which involved the likes of Paul Gascoigne and Iain Bogie, United's current under-18s assistant coach, and Turner-Cooke is hopeful the current crop of players can etch their own names into the club's history.

The Toon teenagers reached the quarter-finals of the competition last term before losing out to eventual winners Aston Villa at St. James' Park but Turner-Cooke, who was cup-tied during United's passage to the last-eight, admitted the squad are aiming to improve on last season's feat. 

"It would mean everything (to win the competition)," the teenage winger added. "You'll remember it for the rest of your career. To get to a final or anywhere near that would be a good achievement. Boags (Iain Bogie) still mentions winning it, god knows how many years later, but it's something you'll never forget. 

"Whoever you play in the youth competitions, you just want to stay in them by winning and getting as far as you can.

"Everyone has confidence in each other that we can go on and better ourselves from last season. That's the aim from the group."

Supporters will be able to attend Monday's FA Youth Cup tie at St. James' Park, with admission priced at £3 for adults and £1 concessions. 

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