Everton Under-18s boss Paul Tait has called on his players to savour the occasion when the young Blues host Fulham in an FA Youth Cup third-round tie at Goodison Park on Friday (7pm kick-off GMT).
Everton will approach the match, which is also being streamed live on our official YouTube channel, buoyed by an impressive 3-0 league win over Manchester United on Saturday.
Tickets for Friday's game are available at £5 for adults and £3 for concessions, with seats in the Upper Bullens Road stand. Payment is on the gate.
The Toffees embarked on a thrilling run to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup last season, beating favourites Manchester City and Chelsea along the way – that pair had won eight of the previous nine editions of the tournament.
Tait is confident his team can again rise to the challenge of competing in the most prestigious competition in youth football.
“Friday is a big night for our players,” he said.
“They’re really looking forward to the chance to play at Goodison under the lights. We just want to do ourselves justice and put some smiles on faces.
“It’s good for the players’ development to play in a game where there is pressure on them.
“In six, 12 or 18 months, they could be around our First Team or on loan – so the reality is they’re going to have to play in pressurised games.
“It’s good to see where the boys are in terms of handling that.”
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HIGHLIGHTS: EVERTON UNDER-18S 3-0 MAN UNITED UNDER-18S
Tait revealed the players eligible for the Under-18s who have predominantly been with Everton’s Under-23s side this term will be in contention for selection on Friday.
He also underlined how the Blues have been handed a difficult test to kick off their cup campaign, with Fulham firmly established in the top six of the southern section of the U18 Premier League.
“It’s a really tough tie,” Tait added.
“Fulham have got a very good academy. Any time we play them, we come up against a team with very good players who are well organised.
“It’s a very tough game but I’d like to think, for them, coming up to Goodison to play us is a really tough game, too.”