WANDERERS YOUTH TEAM ROUND-UP - Jan-Feb 2002 The Football League Youth Alliance
The AXA sponsored FA Youth CupIt was all eyes on the FA Youth Cup during January and February as the Wanderers youngsters made club history by reaching the Fifth Round for the first ever time. Two epic encounters and two penalty shoot-outs against Norwich City and Barnsley saw the highs and lows of cup football but anybody at either game will have been proud of how the Under 18's stood up against Accademy sides. Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the cup exit was the knowledge that victory would have given the lads a chance to play at Old Trafford against Manchester United. However, for many of the team their chance will come again as the bulk of the squad will still be within age to play in the 2002/3 competition.
The backlash from the Cup run was a relative slump in League fortunes for the Under 19's. A narrow defeat to eventual South-East Alliance Champions Colchester United was followed by a 6-1 home mauling by Brighton just four days before the trip to Barnsley. Aspirations of finishing within the top three were dashed by these results and the team had to settle for a place in the 'middle' merit matches. The finish disappointed stand-in Youth Team boss Michael Forsyth, who said "We failed miserably to qualify for the top division, which was the aim from the outset. In fact to end up 6th (bottom of the middle three) is a real hard pill to swallow. So it must be said that we've managed to qualify for what I call a losers league" Forysth says he's trying to instill 'the winning mentality' in his players and not settle for second best, however he has taken some positives from recent showings, adding "I have been pleased by the team's commitement and willingness to work hard".
Wanderers Under 17's in action against Peterborough - Wycombe players left to right - Leon Gordon, Alfie Patterson, Robert Tungatt and Andy Reilly Meanwhile the Under 17's had a very quite couple of months due to the poor weather and only managed to play three games, all on the excellent surface at Molins Sports Ground. However, in those games John Nolan's side returned a 100% record against Portsmouth, Brighton and Champions elect, Peterborough United. The squad finished off the month with a 1-0 victory over England Under 17's in a specially arranged friendly at Bisham Abbey. Scorer that day was Leon Gordon and he's expected to sign scholarship forms with Wycombe for the 2002/3 season along with defenders Andy Reilly and Matt Heggie plus midfielders Matty Fox and James Rogers. One other place is up for grabs and the final games of the season will be spent looking at triallists, with a striker being the priority. Former Chelsea Schoolboy Robert Tungatt and local County player Nathanial Griffiths have both been impressing but the selection process is a difficult one with so few places available.
Other news during this period saw 3rd Year Scholar Ian Simpemba called up for the Republic of Ireland Under 19 squad where he went on to score on his first start at this level against Portugal. Click here for full story

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Wanderers Youth Team programme 2000/2001
The Wanderers Youth Team play their home League games at Molins Sports Ground in Princes Risborough.
Click here for location map of Molins Sports Ground
Admission is FREE and a programme is produced for all Under 19 fixtures.
The programme won the Wirral Programme Club Youth Team Programme of the Season for 1999/2000.

Tom Gott
Tom Gott
Tom Gott
Billy Harding
Chairboys on the Net 2002 - all rights reserved.
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