United prepare to kick off FA Youth Cup campaign
Written by Jack Surtees
Newcastle United's under-18s travel to Brighton & Hove Albion in the third round of the FA Youth Cup on Thursday.
And coach Dave Watson is hoping that the Magpies can embark on another good run in the competition, which they last won in 1985 when a side including Paul Gascoigne beat Watford over two legs.
United reached the quarter-finals last season before losing out in a ten-goal thriller against Tottenham at St. James' Park.
"As soon as the FA Youth Cup draw is made the lads are all getting ready for it," Watson told nufc.co.uk. "They get so excited about it and it's a big occasion for them, especially when it gets played at the first team’s ground, which we are at Brighton.
"Everyone is really excited and it's a case of trying to calm the players down a bit."
The Seagulls defeated the young Magpies 3-2 in the Under-18 Premier League Cup earlier in the season.
But Watson is confident ahead of Thursday's match-up at the Amex Stadium (kick-off 6pm UK time).
"The lads put in a really good performance (in Saturday's league game at Chelsea) which will give them a lot of confidence going into the game.
"We’ve got all of the footage on Brighton and I'm sure they’ve got the footage on us. We're trying to pick some weaknesses within their team that we can possibly capitalise on.
"We know what we're trying to do, we know our game plan and we'll be working on that between now and Thursday."
Watson added: "Brighton are a very good footballing side, as you'd expect - sort of mirroring what their first team try and do.
"We know it's not just going to be lumped from end to end. They will try and play out and they've got some good players in key areas in the forward positions. They score quite a few goals. We need to be aware of that defensively."
A result must be achieved on the night, with 30 minutes of extra time or a penalty shootout if required.
Admission is £5 for adults and £2 concessions. Tickets must be purchased from the ticket office beforehand.