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Alan McCormack on the FA Youth Cup | "To have that 12th man will be massive"

17 January 2023

Club News

Alan McCormack on the FA Youth Cup | "To have that 12th man will be massive"

17 January 2023

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Luton Town Under-18s head coach Alan McCormack has urged Hatters supporters to take advantage of a great opportunity to watch the next generation in live action at Kenilworth Road tomorrow night when they take on QPR in the FA Youth Cup fourth round.

It is the first time the Town youth team has reached this stage of the competition since 2016, when future England international James Justin was a second-year scholar in the side that reached the quarter-finals.

McCormack, our former back-to-back promotion winning midfielder, has overseen 15 wins from 16 matches in the EFL Youth Alliance South-East Division this season as well as the 6-0 victory at Category 2 side Birmingham City in the third round.

Saturday's 3-0 victory at AFC Wimbledon leaves the Category 3 Hatters youngsters needing just three points from their remaining four matches to secure the title.

Ahead of tomorrow’s date with the young Hoops, also a Category 2 academy, McCormack said: “A lot of the boys have watched the Under-21s play there this season and a few of them happened to be involved in it, so I think that with the last game being at Birmingham’s stadium has helped ease the little bit of nerves they might have playing at a stadium in front of a crowd.

“I know for a lot of these boys – and a lot of them are Luton fans who have gone to watch the team at Kenilworth Road – for them now to get to play on the grass is going to be special for them and their families.

“I just hope that the work that we’ve put in over the last few days leading up to tomorrow, but also the last few weeks, months and certainly this season, has paid off, because they’ve been excellent. The whole group has taken on board what we have tried to do, how we want to play with the style and structure, and in some games I think we’ve been magnificent, and we want to carry that into Wednesday. We want to do everything that we’ve done, but even better on Wednesday.”

Tickets costing £5 for adults and £3 concessions can be purchased online, and McCormack wants as many supporters as possible to take advantage of the chance to get behind the lads, who are also coached by another former Town promotion-winning midfielder in Alex Lawless.

“These boys are desperate to become professional footballers,” said 39-year-old McCormack. “They are desperate to make a living in the game and they are desperate to win leagues, get promotions, play for their country, go and play in the Premier League.

“The backing and support that people bring them – they get their parents and family every week, they get the staff at the club – but to now have a fan base there, cheering them on. How many times do you say they’re the 12th man in the game?

“On Wednesday night, if we can get as many people as we can to push the players through some what will no doubt be tough moments in the game, to have that 12th man will be massive. These boys will certainly benefit hugely from that and it’ll be a great atmosphere for them to play in.”

Click HERE to read this week's EFL Youth Alliance newsletter featuring latest results, fixtures and tables.

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