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Under-18s set for Billingham trip in FA Youth Cup


South Shields Under-18s travel to Teesside on Friday as they meet Billingham Town in the first qualifying round of the FA Youth Cup.


The young Mariners won 8-0 at Whitley Bay in the preliminary round with a commanding performance, while Billingham were handed a walkover after their opponents Darlington withdrew.


Friday’s match will be held at Bedford Terrace, which has a post code of TS23 4AF, and kick-off is at 7pm.


Entry is £3, with children going free with a paying adult.


SSFC lead 16-19s coach Andy Inness said: “It will be another new test for the lads, but they are massively looking forward to it after a great performance and result in the last round.


“The most pleasing thing for me was that we played with our identity and maintained some real intensity for the full game, even when the scoreline got a bit stretched.


“They stuck to exactly how we wanted the lads to play, and it was brilliant to see.”


As well as the FA Youth Cup, the club’s Academy players will compete across three leagues this season: the National League Under-19 Alliance, ECFA Colleges League and a newly-formed Youth Development League.


With colleges set to begin a new academic year, the games programme is now on the horizon.


Inness added: “It was tough for the players over the summer. We put them through their paces in terms of their fitness and there was plenty of technical and tactical work.


“It’s the games programme that they really look forward to and now that’s upon us.


“The matches provide the best evidence for us that what we’re doing is working.


“It’s also an opportunity for the players to get good minutes of competitive football under their belts, and we’re massively looking forward to competing in the three leagues.


“We’re challenging the lads to maintain a real challenge in all of them.”


Image: Craig McNair/ID Event Photography.

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