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INTERVIEW: John Dempster Previews Under-18s Final

26 April 2022

The Sky Blues Under-18s travel to Portman Road tomorrow night, when they take on Ipswich Town in the Professional Development League Cup final.

City’s youngsters will be looking to bring back a piece of silverware and cap off an excellent season.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7pm at Portman Road, with entry available from 6:15pm and tickets £3 for adults and £1 for concessions.

Speaking ahead of the fixture, Under-18s coach John Dempster spoke of the excitement within the group ahead of the final.

“We’re all looking forward to it.” Dempster said.

“They’re a team we’ve come up against already this season, so we know its going to be a real challenge for us.

“The players have been unbelievable to get to the final and we’ve played a lot of under-16s on this journey and the 18s have really stepped-up and led them.

“We’re hoping to go to Ipswich and put on a good performance and hopefully we can come back with some silverware, which will be brilliant for the under-18s.

“The memories we’ve created together this season have been great and it would be fantastic if we could create some more, because it’s not only the achievement of getting to a final and potentially winning it, it’s about their development as well.”

The Sky Blues have been in good form in the Professional Development League as well this season and are still in with a chance of getting to the semi-finals of that competition.

A winning mentality is something Dempster is looking to continue to instill within the group and a cup win will go a long way to helping that.

“Winning trophies is obviously a good habit to get into, we’re trying to teach them to win, but ultimately, it’s a development programme and we’re trying to help them for their futures in the game, whether that be here or somewhere else.

“They’ve picked up some excellent results this season and whenever we’ve had disappointing performances they’ve bounced back.

“It’s been a really good season and its brilliant opportunity for us to finish the season on a high.”

It’s not only the Under-18s who will be in a final over the next week, as the Under-16s are also in action against Ipswich in a cup final.

With both age groups performing well this campaign, Dempster is hopeful supporters will see some of these faces in the first team in the future.

“The 16s and 18s have had excellent seasons, the 16s are in a cup final as well against Ipswich believe it or not.

“There are some good talents coming through the ranks and we know how hard it is to develop them into a championship player, which is what the aim is, but that’s our challenge as a coach.

“They’re developing well and hopefully in the years to come we will get a few more debuts for the academy.”


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