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Duff Relishes Youth Cup Turf Test

12 December 2016

Michael Duff wants his players to grab centre stage at Turf Moor to launch a run in the FA Youth Cup.

The young Clarets start their campaign with a third-round tie at home to Bradford City on Tuesday night (kick-off 7pm).

And Duff is urging his young charges to make the most of their chance to play at a Premier League venue in a possible taste of things to come as they look to make the grade at Burnley.

The Clarets’ under-18s boss said: “It’s the one game that everyone looks to. It will be a great opportunity for our lads. It’s where they want to play. It’s aspirational.

“If they work hard enough and they’re good enough, hopefully they’ll play there every week in front of full houses.

“That’s the aim. It gives them a little taste of what it could be.”

Burnley won the Youth Cup for the only time in their history in 1968 but have also enjoyed success in more recent times, reaching the semi-finals for a fourth time in 2011/12.



That epic run included wins over Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham.

Duff was still a key figure in the Clarets' senior ranks at the time but the former long-serving defender – who took on a role as Professional Development Phase Coach after hanging up his boots at the end of last season – remembers it well.

And the 38-year-old hopes the current crop of Burnley youngsters can rise to the occasion again, with a home tie against Norwich City in round four awaiting the winners in a competition won for the last three seasons by Chelsea.

He added: “They still talk about when we won at Manchester United and I went to the Blackburn game when we played them in the semi-finals.

“I don’t think we’re looking that far ahead but it will be interesting. Although it won’t be a full stadium, with the significance of the game and it being in the stadium it will be interesting to see how some react.

“I am sure some will embrace it and for some it might be a shock. But as long as they play well and do themselves justice, and don’t let the occasion get the better of them, that’s what we are looking for.”

Burnley go into the tie at Turf Moor on the back of a run of five wins in their last seven games as they climb up the North West Youth Alliance.

Bradford were beaten 3-0 at home to Mansfield in the North East Youth Alliance last Saturday but reached round three of the Youth Cup after knocking out Hartlepool and Boston.

Only the Bob Lord Stand will be open for Tuesday night’s fixture – which will be decided on the night with extra-time and penalties needed if required – with admission £4 adults, £2 concessions and £1 for season-ticket holders with tickets to be bought from the ticket office up to kick-off.


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