BRIGHOUSE TOWN have a massive incentive on their first ever foray into the FA Youth Cup first-round proper.
The club’s Under 18s travel to Kidderminster Harriers on Wednesday (7.45) knowing victory would earn them a home clash against either Carlisle United or Sheffield Wednesday.
While Town progressed by defeating Scunthorpe United, Brighouse are aiming to follow suit against Kidderminster at Aggborough Stadium – and they certainly won’t be overawed.
Josh Martin has scored in every round as they have beaten Worksop Town 3-2, Grimsby Town by the same scoreline and Loughborough Dynamoes 2-1.
Head coach Simon Wood, who is UEFA B qualified and has been at the club three years, says the achievement in reaching the first round proper took a long time to sink in but the squad are now desperate to get cracking against what are full-time opposition.
“It was a fantastic effort to beat Loughborough and, while the performance never quite reached the heights of the previous round against Grimsby Town, the lads did what was required and got the result,” he said.
“There’s a fantastic team spirit within the squad and a never-say-die attitude that sees them work incredibly hard for each other – and because of that, more often than not, they will get the rewards.”
Martin netted twice against Worksop, with Dale Feather getting the other, and both those were on target against Grimsby alongside Oliver Scott.
Martin’s penalty and an Eli Hey strike did for Loughborough and put Brighouse into the first round alongside a lot of Football League and Conference clubs (such as Kidderminster).
Wood, who played for Brighouse before joining Wakefield FC this year, helped set up the Under 19s while Mark Brier and Darren Attwood were in charge of the first team. They won the league and cup double in their first year and the league again last season.
Assistant is Richard Addy, who was in charge of the reserves for 18 months, but has been working with Wood from the outset.
Phil Baker helps with coaching and is responsible for recruiting new players, while Charlie Tolley is in his first season coaching at Brighouse while managing Rastrick Under 17s and is about to take his UEFA B licence.
Physio is Sophie Box, who has been with the squad for two years after previously working with the first team.
She qualified at Bradford University and the Kidderminster game will be her farewell for five months as she is travelling around the world.
The Brighouse Under 18 squad is: Paul Hagreen, Joe Stead, Robbie Wadsworth, Curtis Hammond, Matt Hartley, Connor Ashworth, Tom Rose, Olly Scott, Ben Grech-Brooksbank, Eli Hey, Josh Martin, Dale Feather, Lewis Jones, Jordan Goldthorpe, Kyle Butler, Matthew Scholefield, Connor Tuff, Carl Maguire, Dan Stirland.
Those missing out because they are too old include Luke Hammond, Ashton Richardson, Courtney Smith, Jack Storrie, Marshall Riley and Dayle Maguire.
Town will find out their next opponents in the FA Youth Cup tonight.
Evostik League outfit North Ferriby United are at home to Crewe Alexandra tonight (7.15) with the winners due at the Galpharm Stadium during the week after Saturday, November 19 in the second round.
Town reached the second round with a 2-1 win over Scunthorpe at Glanford Park.