- Leicester City’s Under-18s tackle Bournemouth in the FA Youth Cup on Friday (7pm kick-off)
- Will Alves spoke about the importance of the competition to the squad
- The young Foxes beat Aston Villa and Crewe in previous rounds without conceding
- Using that momentum will be crucial going into the tie at Vitality Stadium
The Foxes youngsters travel to meet AFC Bournemouth at the fifth-round stage on Friday evening (7pm kick-off), flighting for a place in the quarter-finals of the competition.
After edging Crewe Alexandra 1-0 in a nervy fourth-round tie at LCFC Training Ground, courtesy of Jack Butterfill’s late breakthrough, Alves believes that triumph has lifted the group’s confidence to another level.
It came after a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa at Villa Park in round three, maintaining a perfect defensive record and overcoming the cup holders on the big stage. The forward also feels it will stand them in good stead for playing at Vitality Stadium.
“It was definitely a fantastic win (vs. Crewe),” he reflected to LCFC.com. “Everyone dug deep until the end, and we got the result that we definitely deserved. It’s just good confidence bringing us into this round as well, getting a clean sheet and not conceding yet in the FA Youth Cup.
The forward celebrates scoring in the Development Squad's Premier League 2 triumph at home to Brighton.
“It’s filling us with a lot of confidence to keep on going and keep getting more wins and see where we can go in the cup.
“That was a huge game to win against Villa and to send a message out to all the other teams really to show what we can do and obviously we beat the holders so a lot of other teams are maybe looking at us now and will be afraid to play us.
“We’ve shown them that we’re a good side and can beat the big teams as well.”
The Cherries are not an opponent that City have come up against often in recent seasons, though the team have done their homework and will go into the game well prepared to face the south coast outfit.
“We’ve played them before for the Under-23s but obviously it’s a different age group so a different team,” the Leicester born youngster explained. “It will be good to go down there.
We see the FA Youth Cup as the biggest competition really for us to play in and it’s just a great experience every single game that we play.Will Alves LCFC.com
“We didn’t know too much about them, but the coaches have been analysing them and seeing what we can do against them and the best ways to exploit their weaknesses and play to our strengths.
“It would be a massive achievement for myself and the team to win. We see the FA Youth Cup as the biggest competition really for us to play in and it’s just a great experience every single game that we play.
“The competitive side of it - and being knockout rounds - we always want to win, so it’s good.”
The 16-year-old’s individual development has seen him make his first team debut, coming on as a substitute in the Emirates FA Cup win over Watford at King Power Stadium earlier this month.
Alves & Marcal-Madivadua Star In Comeback Win For City's Youngsters
Will Alves and Wanya Marcal-Madivadua were on the scoresheet as Leicester City's Development Squad secured a thrilling 2-1 triumph over Brighton & Hove Albion Under-23s in Premier League 2.
Alves added: “Playing against quicker, stronger and maybe even better players definitely makes me think more about what I can do and ways I can beat a player and get around them as they might be cleverer, so I’ll have to play with more variation in my game.
“It pushes me to play at a better level as well. When I play for the Under-18s, sometimes I feel like I can use my experiences from the Under-23s to help me as well.
“It was just a great experience and really motivating for myself just to get that little taste of first team football and keep going to try to get more opportunities like that one.”
Supporters can follow live coverage of the fixture on @LCFC's social channels throughout Friday evening.
All times GMT.
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