Tonight Richard Naylor’s Under 18s side will travel to Anfield to do battle with Liverpool’s young counterparts. Available on Sky Channel 434, the game should be watched by all with more than a passing interest in Leeds United. Why? We might just be witnessing the beginnings of a golden generation from Thorp Arch, the future stars of our promotion push (and subsequent sale to Norwich).
We’ve had youth crops of the past that have achieved in the FA Youth Cup, such as those that played in front of over 30,000 in 93/94 against Man Utd and the actually successful youth team that featured the likes of Robinson and Smith, eventually going on to do all they did. It is always worth keeping an eye on groups like this, because you never know how far they will go on to change you as a club.
Are they really that good? This team has won twelve games on the bounce and hasn’t lost a competitive fixture since September. They demolished Burton Albion in the last round and are going into a Quarter Final against a Premier League side, the equivalent of our run in the Carling Cup. Aside from being marshalled well by Richard Naylor, there are several huge talents from the group.
Player to REALLY Watch: Chris Dawson. He’s already appeared for Wales’s Under-21s and tends to train with the first team these days, floating in and around the subs bench (not yet appearing). Warnock has said he will probably play before the end of the season. From what I’ve been lucky enough to see, he moves with the ball as if it is stuck to his feet, is small but technically brilliant, and the sort of player that excites the world of football in this day and age. This could be a player and a half if we’re lucky.
Follow Amitai Winehouse on Twitter (@awinehouse1).