Academy Manager Richard Meek
Academy Manager Richard Meek believes that the U18s Scholars will use the disappointment of last night’s FA Youth Cup exit to Stevenage as a spring board for the remainder of the season.
Despite a battling 120 minute performance from the U’s at the Abbey Stadium, they were eventually dealt a killer blow in the competition, as the visitors from Hertfordshire prevailed 4-2 winners in a penalty shoot-out.
Although Meek admits the result was difficult to take, the experience going forward will prove invaluable for the United Scholars.
He said: “I’m sure once the team have had a little time to assess there will be plenty of positives they can take from the performance.
“The players have got to experience this level of disappointment to understand why it matters and for some of them it will be the first time they have experienced this.
“Reflecting on the game I thought we started very well but we dropped off a little before half time. We found the second half difficult playing against the wind but defended resiliently. We also had two or three very good chances during the first period of extra time.
“I certainly felt the players showed what it means to be part of Cambridge United.”
He continued: “That was the last opportunity for the second year scholars in the FA Youth Cup, but we have a crop of youngsters that are able to play in the competition for the next two years.
“An experience like last night’s really stands us in good stead and all of the boys in the group felt part of it. Once we reflect I think there will be nothing but proud memories and a hunger to achieve more.
“We have to use it as springboard for the rest of the season. We have the opportunity to play Stevenage again next Tuesday in the League, and I’m hopeful the boys will see that as a chance to put in a very strong performance.”