TOM CLARKE will draw on all his first-team experience tonight to lead Town's bid for FA Youth Cup glory at Leicester City (7.00).
The 17-year-old defender will have the job of helping shackle strike starlet Ashley Chambers at the Walkers Stadium as Town bid to clinch a fourth-round slot away to Carlisle United.
It will be a major test for John Dungworth's side, who missed a penalty as they lost 3-1 to the young Foxes in the FA Academy Premier League earlier in the season.
But it's a challenge they are looking forward to.
"The lads have prepared well, they are determined to give a good account of themselves and in Cup football, you never know what might happen," said Academy manager Gerry Murphy.
"Leicester are a good footballing side in that they play out from the back.
"But they also like to get Chambers playing off the shoulder and running in behind defences.
"They are always looking for the opportunity to hit you like that.
"So it will be a stern test for us, but if we go about our work correctly, there's no reason why we can't do well."
Top Fox Chambers, 16, has been with his hometown club since the age of eight and won England Under 17 honours alongside Town goalkeeper Alex Smithies in the summer.
He made club history in September when, at 15 years and 203 days, he became their youngest-ever first-team player after coming off the bench during the Carling Cup win at Blackpool.
Town, who will field an unchanged side after wins against Burscough and Darlington, had their players in college yesterday before an afternoon training session with Dungworth.
"John has made sure the lads are as well prepared as they possibly can be," added Murphy.
"As a team we will be hard working and well organised and the lads will get all the instructions they need.
"We have had Leicester watched and we've also studied a video of their match against Aston Villa a fortnight ago.
"Obviously, at this stage, you just want to progress to the next round and we'll be giving it everything we've got."
While Town are the underdogs, Murphy admits it's a great lift to have Clarke available after the knock he took when playing left-back in Peter Jackson's senior side in Saturday's 0-0 Galpharm draw against Southend.
"It's fantastic for us with Tom's increasing experience of playing in the first team and the fact he's had international duty with England (Under 19s)," said Murphy, who also guided his brother, Nathan, through the ranks.
"Tom brings a lot of calming influence to our defence, he talks well on the pitch and he is an excellent captain.
"It's a massive bonus for us to have him available and he'll be determined to lead the side well on what is a great opportunity for our lads to showcase their talent at a super venue at the Walkers Stadium."
Town: Eastwood, Racchi, Berrett, Clarke, Skarz, Malcher, Bailey, Wilson, Hallam, Highley, Biddle. Subs: Akins, Smithies, Broadbent, Jackson, Oakley.