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Peacock - FA Youth Cup a great opportunity

Peacock speaks prior to Tuesday's tie

2 November 2021

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Swindon Town U18's Coach Lee Peacock knows the FA Youth Cup presents his players with a great opportunity to really showcase their talents.

The Young Reds begin their 2021-22 FA Youth Cup adventure tonight against Winchester at Gloucester City - 7:45pm Kick-Off.

Town made it to the Fourth Round of the competition last year, where they faced Ipswich Town away, and Peacock understands just how big an opportunity this is for his team ahead of tonight's First Round tie.

"It really is a good opportunity," Peacock told

"All the way through the Academy it is about development and this becomes the first time where winning games matters.

"It will be interesting to see which players can step up to that mentality.

"Results are important in the league but this is a Cup game and you must win in order to go into the next round.

"Throughout my career the FA Youth Cup was the most I got excited about a competition and I loved it. 

"The players are really excited and it has a lot of prestige and it really matters to people. Historically in England the FA Cup is a big one and it is known all over the world.

"All of our kick-offs are normally at 11am so this is a massive change for us having a night kick-off. We have given them a programme based on what a professional would normally do for a midweek game, although that changes based on people's superstitions and where they live etc.

"It is getting up at a decent time, having breakfast, having a meal in-between or coming to the club for pre-match and everything has been elevated to a new level of professionalism under the new Owner.

"For the lads, rather than sitting on FIFA all day, we're asking them to prepare in the right way and have a soft focus on what the future might look like.

"We want people to be bang-on it from the first whistle through to extra-time or penalties, and we want everything done in a professional manner."

And Peacock also gave his thoughts on what to expect from Winchester and why his team need to be up for the physical battle first.

"We've watched them and they are very quick on the counter. They will try to develop players and they've got capable players," Peacock added.

"The one thing you tend to find is that you try to engage in the physical element first in order to take away the technical element.

"The quicker these players can get to you and knock you off technically, it then impacts you tactically and I imagine they will be really, really high-tempo pressing and try to knock us off our game.

"With no disrespect, there should be a quality gap so if we want to play football in the way we want to play, we have to earn the right, we have to match them physically and that's man to man, winning one-on-one battles all over the pitch and if we don't earn the right then there will be issues.

"Respect is earned.

"You can't expect them to turn up and just let us play the way we want to, so we have to match them, we have to respect them and once we get the opportunity then we try to apply our tactics more consistently."

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