Jason Dodd’s young side get their cup campaign up and running fresh from qualifying for the Elite division after winning National Group Two of the Barclays U18 Premier League last month.
They have just two defeats in twelve competitive games as they head into the prestigious youth competition with Dodd’s youngsters hoping to go all the way this time around.
Saints are of course previous finalists of the knockout tournament which provides an early opportunity to catch a glimpse of future first team stars, who for most, if not all the them is the first time that they will play in front of a crowd and on the hallowed St Mary’s turf.
Current Saints first team stars James Ward-Prowse and Jack Stephens were both involved in the competition last season, and they are supporting the next generation of Southampton stars to perform on the big stage.
“It’s something you always dream of,” says Ward-Prowse reflecting on his own Youth Cup debut.
“You want to be playing in the big stadiums and having that competitive edge against a big team. You get bigger crowds as well which is what you want to strive towards, and it’s a good taste hopefully of what’s to come.
“I’d say to the lads just enjoy the occasion and don’t be overawed by it. It’s just a pitch surrounded by a few more seats, so go out, keep your head and do the simple things that you’ve done to win the league.”
Ward-Prowse believes 14 goal Ryan Seager will be one to watch, whilst defender Stephens says Saints are strong at the other end of the field too.
“I look at defenders so I’m backing Jordan Turnbull who’s a good mate of mine and Bevis Mugabi too,” the former Plymouth man highlighted, “Also, Macca (Jason McCarthy) and Fraser (Colmer) are good players as well.
“The boys have already won the league this year so there’s no reason why they can’t go all the way in this competition.”
Ward-Prowse and Stephens played in the competition for Saints last season
Give the boys your support when the FA Youth Cup comes to town again on Monday 10th December with a 7pm kick-off against Everton.
Tickets will be available to purchase on the night with entry granted via cash turnstiles in the Itchen North Stand from 6pm.
These are priced as follows:
Adult - £5
Concession - £3