FA Youth Cup semi-final: West Bromwich Albion are 'David' to Manchester City's 'Goliath'

West Bromwich Albion Under-18s coach Mike Scott
West Brom Under-18s coach Mike Scott has looked after this group since they were the age of 12

West Bromwich Albion's youngsters will be big underdogs when they face Manchester City on Monday in the club's first FA Youth Cup semi-final for 41 years, according to coach Mike Scott.

Albion have already beaten Arsenal and Everton on the way to the last four, with Liverpool waiting in the final.

"All the top teams we face at 18s level are strong, whoever you're playing," under-18s coach Scott told BBC WM.

"They're all a bit of a David v Goliath situation in terms of club size."

Scott added: "We just set out at the start to go as far as we could. But to get to the club's first semi in 41 years is already a massive achievement for the academy."

Two of the Baggies' youth side, 18-year-old striker Rayhaan Tulloch and 16-year-old midfielder Morgan Rogers, have impressed enough this season to have made their first-team debuts in the club's FA Cup fifth-round tie with Brighton.

And, alongside the progress of midfielders Raheem Harper, 19, and Sam Field, 20, forward Kyle Edwards, 21, scored the winner at Brentford on his first league start for Albion, prior to this international break.

But Scott sees the disparity at youth level between Albion and English football's elite clubs as being just a big as when the Baggies first team finished bottom of the Premier League a year ago - 69 points adrift of champions City.

"You're almost facing a £15m team compared to what we can put into our budget," he said.

WBA Under-18s captain George Harmon has skippered his side to wins over QPR, Arsenal and Everton in booking their FA Youth Cup semi-final place against Man City
WBA Under-18s captain George Harmon has skippered his side to wins over QPR, Arsenal and Everton in booking their FA Youth Cup semi-final place against Man City

"They'll be a club who spend a lot of money on their academy. They'll have good international players.

"We're a local academy. A lot of the boys playing on Monday night will be from our programme, from within a radius of 10 miles from our training ground.

"We've always recruited locally. At 16, they have that luxury of being able to buy players from all round the country and all over the world."

West Brom's Under-18s coach Mike Scott was talking to BBC WM's Mark Regan

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