Blues duo looking forward to FA Youth Cup

Adam Siviter
Adam Siviter, Blues Under-18s goalkeeper.

We have got to match them. If we match them physically, for work rate, determination, we know we have got the players to hurt them and win the tie.

Adam Siviter

Adam Siviter and Jordan Clarke will be key players for Blues Under-18s in the FA Youth Cup Third Round at Bristol City on Tuesday (7pm).

And the goalkeeper and striker are confident that if Blues play to their strengths and don't neglect the basics, they can progress in the competition.

“We have had a steady start to the season," Siviter reflected. “We know with the players we have got we can beat teams in the league.

“Luck didn’t swing our way at the beginning, but now it has started to come together a lot more for us.

“There is a real togetherness in the team, more so than in previous years.

“We’ve played with one another for at least four years and we’re aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses, knowing when to step in to help someone out, when to let people do their own thing.

"Everyone is looking forward to the FA Youth Cup. We know what they’re all about. They will get in our faces. They will be physical, try and rile us because we like to play.

“We have got to match them. If we match them physically, for work rate, determination, we know we have got the players to hurt them and win the tie.”

Clarke said Blues' bond should help them, and the Academy playing style - to try to dominate possession, and play through the thirds to create openings - is enjoyable to take part in, and to watch.

“The best teams are always good together," said the 18-year, from Erdington. "We work hard as a group and where we are in the table doesn’t really show what we have actually got.

“But we are doing well, getting better, and against Bristol we will certainly give them a good game.”

“We love it, the way of playing," Clarke added. "Steve Spooner says express yourselves on the pitch and the way we play, it makes people look upon us in a good light, that we have got good players.

“It’s about our mindset as well. It’s not always on the ball, but what you do off the ball. You have to put the graft in.

“With the ball we can pass teams off the park. Without the ball it’s about mental state, how we go through the game and how we manage it, in our way.”

Siviter, 17, a Blues fan from Walsall, added: “You can’t always play that way, we know that. But our players are brave on the ball, they are good on the ball. We have got the movement in midfield and in a player like Jordan, we have got pace up front."

Blues are currently eighth in the PDL2, only six points off the top and with a game in hand. Their last match was a 4-2 defeat at Sheffield United, which brought to an end a six-game unbeaten run.

But the break from league duty in the FA Youth Cup always creates a buzz.

Clarke, who has been at Blues since Under-9s, said: “I love the competitiveness, I love everything about it (the FA Youth Cup).

“It gives us something different, obviously, to the league games and hopefully we can do better than last season.”

After progressing past Oldham Athletic in the Third Round, Blues ran into eventual winners Chelsea and lost 5-0 at Solihull Moors a year ago.

“They are one of the best sides in Europe for the Under-18s level," said Siviter, who came to Blues after an open trial for Under-13 goalkeepers. “They beat us 5-0 but went and beat another team the week after 13-0.

“When you look back at it in perspective, it wasn’t that bad. But on the night we were all absolutely gutted.

“Yes, there is a gap between us and Chelsea. We know that. But we’re not too far off them.

“We are looking forward to this year’s competition. We intend to do well in it.”

“It was a difficult game," said Clark, who came on as an early substitute that night. "A good challenge.

“It’s nice to see where you are compared to other teams. Mentally and physically as well, as some of those players were really big.

“It was a good learning curve for us all and now we will look to Tuesday and try and go through."

*Tuesday's game will be live streamed to subscribers of BluesTV.