Mansfield Town hope that, with the first team being away tomorrow, supporters will turn out in their numbers to the One call Stadium tonight (70m) and cheer the youth team through to round three of the FA Youth Cup.
John Dempster’s young guns swept aside Cambridge City 3-0 last week to book their place in the next round against Dereham Town tonight.
Stags boss Adam Murray said: “With us not having a home game on Saturday it will be nice to get a few coming through the doors on Friday and supporting the boys. It will give them the chance to see the next batch of players coming through.
“We’ve got some really exciting boys in that group, so it will be nice for fans to come and back them and have a look at what is next.
“At the minute with the first team we are in an elite group in League Two with some big hitters up there, so we need to make sure our own coming through can hit the standards we are going to need to stay in that group.
“It is going to be a challenge for us to stay up there. We know that – we’re not stupid. We are probably punching above our weight at the minute but we deserve to be. So these kids need to hit the standards so when they come into the first team environment, they can keep us there.”
On Dereham, he added: “It will be a tough game. They will come here and probably sit back and try to catch us on the counter.
“So it will be a good test for the academy boys and staff. They will come up with a game plan to get round them, and I am sure with the players we’ve got, if they get the plan right we shouldn’t have any problem.”
The team could see the return of midfielder Cain Smith, after the 16-year-old was an unused substitute in Adam Murray’s first team squad for the Stags’ Emirates FA Cup 0-0 draw against Oldham Athletic last Saturday.
Long-term absentees Devante Reittie and Tom Slone will be missing, while new signing Tyler Johal is cup-tied after his inclusion in Ilkeston FC’s FA Youth Cup qualifying games.
Zayn Hakeem will be pushing for a place in the starting line-up after an all-action display in the previous stage of the competition.
Admission is priced at £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.
Entry into the ground will be via the first lower tier turnstile of the Ian Greaves Stand, closest to the Quarry Lane End.