Nottingham Forest under-18 head coach Warren Joyce has praised one aspect of his team ahead of the FA Youth Cup Final against Manchester United.
It has been a season to remember for the young guns. They’ve reached the showpiece final for the first time in the club’s history, beating Chelsea along the way.
Forest came from behind to beat the Blues in the semi-final. A brace from Detlef Esapa Osong and a strike from Dale Taylor saw the Reds set up a date with Old Trafford.
Joyce has overseen a remarkable revival during the 2021/22 campaign. The step up to Category One status initially proved a tough learning curve but the second half of the season has seen the team kick on.
Forest’s youngsters will head to Old Trafford on Wednesday night. It will be the biggest game of their careers and over 60,000 will be in attendance at the Theatre of Dreams.
United’s ranks will boast players from all over the world. Argentina ace Alejandro Garnacho and Uruguay ace Marc Jurdo are the two most highly-rated talents in the under-18 squad.
Joyce, however, has praised one aspect of his own squad and the fact that the majority of it has been put together using homegrown players.
He told Manchester Evening News: “The reality is, of the starting XI, eight of them are local first years, one schoolboy, two second years from Ireland, so there are nine lads from Nottingham in the team.
“To compete with the biggest in the country in the first year in Category One football they’ve done unbelievably well to get where they are.”
Joyce praised Nottingham Forest and they must enjoy Manchester United date
It’s been a remarkable turnaround for Joyce’s team and with one game of the season remaining they could still finish third in the division.
They will, however, will be prioritising the FA Youth Cup. Wednesday night will the biggest night of the players’ lives and they’ll want to grasp the opportunity.
Given the amazing academy in place at Forest, it’s perhaps a surprise that the Reds haven’t reached this stage of the competition before.
As a result, Joyce will be keen for his homegrown talent to stand up and seize the moment to claim a prestigious piece of silverware.