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8 December 2016

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Town U18s take on Owls at Hillsborough tomorrow, 1pm kick-off

Hatters youth team boss Paul Driver hopes his side will rise to the challenge of playing at the “fantastic” Hillsborough tomorrow as they take on Sheffield Wednesday.

Town have reached the third round of this year’s FA Youth Cup having beaten Barnet 3-1 at the Hive and Dagenham and Redbridge 4-3 at Kenilworth Road.

Driver said he was looking forward to the match, as it will give the chance for his players to show the quality they possess at a fantastic venue.

He said: “It’s another great experience for the boys. With all the games we have had, to go to a ground with the history of Hillsborough is brilliant.

“When I was growing up, it was always regarded as one of the great grounds. It’s steeped in history.

“For the boys to have the chance to play at a stadium like it is fantastic. I hope they will acquit themselves in the way that I am sure they will, to put on a good show and have a right go.”

One player in particular who has stood out in recent weeks for the Town is midfielder Jack Snelus, having netted two hat-tricks in his last four matches. Even with that rich vein of form, Driver said his side have a lot of goal scorers and they won’t be relying on any one player in particular.

“Snelus has obviously done well, he has got two completely different hat-tricks recently, he got the three pearlers from outside the box against Dagenham & Redbridge,” Driver continued. “Then he got two penalties and a nice individual goal against Gillingham. He’s top scorer with 15 goals, so for a number 10 to get that before Christmas at any level is excellent. Let’s hope that he can continue that.

“He’s not the only one though. Freddie Hinds is in double figures, Kavan Cotter and Arthur Read can score, so we have got plenty of options there. The going forward bit has been good.”

Tomorrow’s opponents have their own formidable forward in the form of George Hirst. The son of former Wednesday, Barnsley and Southampton striker, David, the 17-year-old has made a number of England under-18 appearances and has netted 20 goals already this season.

It will prove a stern test for the Hatters defence, who kept their first clean sheet in five matches against Gillingham at the weekend.  

Driver is confident in his back line though, as they will look to keep Wednesday’s dangerman away from goal.

Driver said: “We have just got to continue on with the good work from the clean sheet at the weekend. That’s where the real test will be. They have got an England U18 centre forward playing, so it’ll be a brilliant test.

“The centre-backs came up against a big, strong striker when they played Gillingham and it was a good test. They did really well.”  


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