Former classmates in opposition for Pomey Youth Cup tie

Ousman Saidy. Picture: Neil Marshall
Ousman Saidy. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Former classmates are in opposition as the next stage of the FA Youth Cup kicks off.

Former classmates are in opposition as the next stage of the FA Youth Cup kicks off.

Newcastle United will visit Fratton Park on Friday night (7pm) for the third-round encounter.

Daunting opposition for Mikey Harris’ side, who have defeated Eastleigh and Metropolitan Police to maintain their interest in the prestigious competition.

While the Blues’ youngsters may be unfamiliar with many of the names representing the Toon, their coach certainly knows those in charge.

Joe Joyce is the Newcastle Academy manager, with ex-Everton skipper Dave Watson serving as the under-18’s coach.

The pair attended the same Advanced Youth Award course as Harris, spread over an 18-month period.

Based at St George’s Park, it brought the trio together until its culmination last year.

Now Newcastle are visiting Fratton Park – and with it creating a reunion.

Harris said: ‘Both were on my course, although I worked quite a lot with Joe and got to know him better.

‘Joe has an absolute wealth of experience, having headed Newcastle’s Academy for 10 years, and I got on with him really well.

‘It’s funny, we played Manchester City at this stage last season and I met their manager Jason Wilcox years before on an A-licence course!

‘Still, it’s not that much of a coincidence with Joe and Dave, it was a mandatory course for anyone in my job.

‘There are around 60 people in each of the three courses which run at one time. You then carry out six four-day residential visits over an 18-month period.

‘It will be great to see them again and, while we’ll welcome them off the pitch, we have to make it as uncomfortable as possible on it.

‘I am looking forward to seeing them again, hopefully we can cause an upset.’

Pompey will assess Harvey Bradbury, Jez Bedford, Eddie Wakley and Kyle McDowell before finalising their side.

The quartet appeared in the reserves’ 3-1 defeat at Everton under-23s on Monday night, with Bradbury netting from the bench.

Ousman Saidy (suspension) and Jack Chandler (injury) both missed the previous round’s 2-0 victory over Metropolitan Police.

However, they are added to the squad for Friday night, with Harris anticipating the Blues to be at full strength.

POMPEY (from): Hall, Smith, Wakley, Widdrington, McDowell, Collins, Saidy, Hancott, Read, Scutt, Bedford, Woodward, Brooks, Bradbury, Mayes, Lethbridge, Casey, Chandler.