Rob Etherington: It’s a really special occasion

Under-18s coach previews the FA Youth Cup final.

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Leeds United Under-18s face Manchester City Under-18s in the final of the FA Youth Cup on Friday evening.

The Whites travel to the Etihad Stadium in Manchester and will be backed by thousands of supporters, in a packed out away end.

Speaking ahead of the game, Under-18s head coach Rob Etherington gave his thoughts to LUTV.

He said: “For the players to walk out and to feel the support of the people they're representing, I think makes it a really special occasion for the players and a really exciting one.

“It's what makes our football club, our football club. If the final was at Elland Road, it would be sold out within a couple of hours, I'm sure.

“But even to play away from home, for the players to walk out and see the away end and the allocation and how many people have made it across to support them, I think in itself makes it feel a little bit more special.”

On the game itself, Etherington is aware of the challenge his side is facing against one of the leading academies in the world, but he also knows his own players have performed at a high level, going into the match.

“They're a really good team and they've had a lot of success in recent years,” he explained.

“But, we're a top academy, we're a top football club. They're coming up against a tough club as well, a tough academy and a tough team.

“This group that we've got at the moment are a very, very strong team. So, we're going to focus on us, as we've done all the way through this journey.

“And as I said before, if we focus on us and we perform to the level that we can and we show the things that we've shown up to this point, then we've got a fantastic opportunity.

"My purpose and my objective, as the lead coach of this group, is to help the players be the best that they can be.

“Whatever happens, if we can get that, then I'll be proud regardless, but it's a massive night for everybody involved in the football club.”

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