Guernsey FA Under 18’s host Essex FA Under 18’s in the Second Round of the FA County Youth Cup on Saturday 3rd November.
The FA County Youth Cup is steeped in tradition and history and dates back to the time of the Second World War when the revival of youth football for players between the ages of 16 and 18 was one of the most important features of The FA’s work at the end of the War.
During the 1944-45 season the experiment of starting a national competition for Under-18s was welcomed with enthusiasm. The FA’s aim was to provide representative football for the best young players who had not signed up with professional clubs. Thirty-six of the then 41 County Associations entered teams in a knockout competition called ‘The County Minor (Youths) Championship’ and Staffordshire beat Wiltshire 3-2 over the two legs of the first Final. Initially there was no trophy, with the players of the winning team just receiving FA blazer badges.Another interesting feature of that first season concerned The FA’s educational activities. An instructional course for senior boys attending public and secondary schools was held at Stamford Bridge during the Easter period. It was appreciated by all who took part and requests were made for similar courses in the future.
Nowadays any player under written contract, including those registered at academies or centres of excellence, is not eligible to play in ‘The FA County Youth Cup’. Players under 18, whether they are at school or playing in leagues affiliated to County FAs, are eligible, although not every County enters the competition. The County Youth Cup Final was played over two legs until Hertfordshire edged Cheshire in a one-off match in 1970.
Some notable events in the history of the competition include the second leg of the 1950 Final, which featured Essex and Middlesex, being played at Wembley Stadium whilst Liverpool then produced a dominant spell with some outstanding teams, reaching The Final five times in nine years from 1972.
Whilst Guernsey received a bye into the Second Round of the competition, Essex, who are past winners of the competition, reached this point with a 3-0 victory over Hertfordshire FA, which was the County that beat Guernsey in the competition last season. Guernsey Head Coach Martin Scott, and assistant Mike Garnett, have prepared for the match with a friendly against the GFA Under 21 squad and have subsequently selected the following squad for this match:
Callum Le Lacheur
Harry De Mouilpied
The match, which is being played at The Track, kicks-off at 12.30pm
Adults - £3
Concessions (Under 16/Over 65) - £1