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News Archive > Sport > Hooper’s boys ready to make history

Hooper’s boys ready to make history

By Gareth Rowett 29th March 2017

Hooper’s boys ready to make history
READY FOR THE FINAL: Cornwall set to take on Middlesex on Saturday

History could be rewritten in Barnet on Saturday afternoon as Cornwall Under-18s prepare to have the chance of becoming national champions.

The Duchy, managed by St Blazey legend Glynn Hooper, have reached the final of the FA County Youth Cup for the first time in their history and will now take on Middlesex to bid to be the country’s best county youth team.

Led by Hooper and his back-room team the Cornwall Under-18s have performed brilliantly throughout the season and have already done themselves proud by reaching the final of this prestigious final.

At times they have played some sparkling football and at times that they have been resolute in defence, but one thing that has never been lacking is the passion and pride that the players have shown in their excellent run to the final.

The journey started with a 7-0 win at Gloucestershire with a performance that was every bit as dominant as the score suggests.

After that next up were 2014 winners Lancashire at Blaise Park and they were sent packing with Mattie Buchan scoring four in Cornwall’s comprehensive 5-2 win in wet and windy conditions.

Sussex, last year’s beaten finalists were defeated in the quarter-final 2-1 and finally a strong and uncompromising Durham side were defeated in a tense semi-final 2-1 with Blaise Park proving a lucky host for the third time.

That brings us to the final and what promises to be a really tough task against Middlesex.

A team who won their semi-final 7-2 and have looked dominant in most of their games, however if Cornwall have learnt anything about their current crop of players is that they will always be well prepared and ready for the game and should never be underestimated.

In reaching the final they have been red-hot in front of goal, scoring 16 goal in the process while the defence has also been impressive, conceding just four goals.

They have beaten teams who have appeared two of the last three finals and they will hope to turn the tables on another excellent side when they take on Middlesex on Saturday.

“We have been lucky enough this year to have a group of players that want to play county Under-18 football. Success always helps in those situations but we have got a core squad that have made themselves available for nearly every game that we have had,” Hooper told the Voice.

“Saturday will be one of the highlights of their young footballing career so far. It will be a case of go and enjoy every moment and embrace it.

"They are a really talented bunch of young players but talent is only one thing. You have got to then make sure it can gel. We have got a combination of technical players, physical players and experienced players with great attitudes. We look to try and get the ball down and play, playing through the thirds and out from the back.

“People will say we play this system or that but we adapt. We adapt in possession and out of possession. Our formation changes when we have the ball compared to when we don’t. We have bought into that all along. We have kept the same philosophy and we will take that into the final.

“I publicly said I wouldn’t manage again at Peninsula level and I stick by that. It was more about a campaign to keep the Under-18s than to take on managing it. I felt strongly being an FA Youth Mentor that if we stopped this pathway then we could end up losing all our West Cornwall and East Cornwall representative squads. We had already lost our senior squad and, being a passionate Cornishman, I felt strongly that we needed to find a way to keep it which luckily we did.

“From that, a question was posed, put your money where your mouth is and apply for the job. I thought that was the only right thing to do as I had made a bit of a noise.

“When you have people involved in the county youth, the likes of Tommy Matthews and Kevin Rowett, that have a wonderful pedigree about them, you know that it is something special. Tommy’s a very good friend of mine and he loved his time. When they offered me the chance to do it I thought, if it is good enough for Tommy then it is more than good enough for me.”

Hooper’s side are sure to be clued up on the opposition and former county team manager Steve Massey has watched them and will have reported his findings back to Hooper, who himself played for both the county Youth and Senior team.

Since his appointment Hooper has put together a very experienced and knowledgeable backroom team that includes his assistant manager Alan Yendell, coaches Jamie Day, Andrew Graham, John Fabby, goalkeeping coach Dennis Annear and physio Toby Wellington.

If you are going to game independent of the Cornwall FA coach and would like to claim a free ticket please contact Richard Pallot at Cornwall FA on 01208 269010 or email: Richard.pallot@cornwallfa.com

The game is being played at Barnet’s The Hive Stadium, which was opened in the summer of 2013.

The Cornwall squad for the game is: Alfie Flack (St Austell), Archie Condie (West Cornwall), Cam Turner, Jack Rapsey (both Newquay), Charlie Hambly, Ed Harrison, James Heywood, Joe Adkins, Josh Penrose, Luke Gwillam (all Camelford), Daniel Stedman (Wendron United), Jack Webber  and Joel Allen (both Porthleven), Josh Otto (Mousehole), Matt Buchan (Helston Athletic), Max Roberts (RNAS Culdrose), Ollie Walker (Falmouth Town), Tiago Soares (Godolphin Atlantic) and Tyler Oliver (Helston Athletic).

Kick-off will be at 2pm at The Hive.

By Gareth Rowett 29th March 2017

Footie fan 31st March 2017 10:23
All the best to Glynn and the boys tomorrow.
We will be cheering you on from St Austell. Having watched the last couple of games at St Blazey they have already done the county proud, now go and make history!
GOOD LUCK!!
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