BURTON Albion’s Youth Team made it into the history books last night after reaching the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup for the first time ever.
Defender Ben McLean converted Said Idouarab’s corner with a bullet header in the second half to score the only goal of the game and give the Brewers the win over Southampton at St May’s Stadium.
After taking the lead the Brewers dug in to prevent a Saints’ leveller, which included some outstanding goalkeeping from Greg Lewis to help preserve the lead and see the Brewers progress to the next round.
“I thought the lads were brilliant and it's a night that they'll never forget,” said Professional Development Phase Lead Coach Rose.
“The game had a bit of everything and I think we definitely could have scored more than the one goal.
“We defended well when we needed to, plus Greg made some fine saves in both halves. The two lads upfront led the line really well and it followed throughout the rest of the team with some exceptional performances.
“We looked fit, athletic, and matched Southampton throughout. Whenever our lads have played category one sides this year, they haven’t been phased by it. As long as they’re organised then they are always going to give themselves a chance.”
Rose said that he’s also taken great satisfaction in seeing several players that he’s worked with since younger age groups, now getting the chance to express themselves and play in big occasions.
“I’ve known some of these boys since they were kids and to see them play in Premier League stadiums, and win, is amazing.
“They’re a great bunch and it was hairs on the back of your neck sort of stuff when the final whistle was blown.
“I think the lads would like the chance to play in another big stadium, but for me I’d like another game on home turf at the Pirelli Stadium.”
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at the game due to the first team fixture at home to Shrewsbury, but he was happy to receive the news that the Brewers had progressed.
“It’s very important for the club and it’s well done to them. I’m told they played really well and they ‘did a Jimmy’ and won 1-0 away from home. It’s really important keeping a clean sheet, we know how instrumental they are. It’s a brilliant day for them,” said Hasselbaink.
“It’s vital for the club and encourages us to keep on going with the youth set up. The first team lost but we see there is some talent in the youth team. Well done to Dan and his staff and I’m very happy for the players.”
Dan Robinson, Academy Manager, said he believes that now is a great time for Burton Albion to be highlighted for the quality of young players that are being produced throughout the club.
“The development that the club and the academy have made is incredible.
“To now be producing players that will be play in the last 16 teams in the country, in such a prestigious youth cup competition, is unbelievable,” said Robinson.
“We’re all really proud of the ongoing progress that were making as an academy and it can only help to inspire all our young players and staff at every age group.”