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Southend United goalkeeper Ted Smith chases FA Youth Cup glory
SOUTHEND United’s talented young goalkeeper Ted Smith wants to continue his outstanding start to the season by helping the Shrimpers see off Maidstone in the first round of the FA Youth Cup at Roots Hall tonight.
The former King John School pupil represented England at under 18 level last month.
And Smith, who will captain the Shrimpers tonight, is now aiming for another career high by leading the side through the opening rounds of the competition.
“You only ever get two, maybe three, chances of having a good run in the FA Youth Cup so we want to go as far as we can and have memories that’ll stay with us throughout our career,” said Smith.
“I’ve already had that by playing for England this season and it would be great to have a good cup run to go alongside that now.”
Ricky Duncan’s side head in to the showdown in fine form and the Benfleet based Smith is confident the Shrimpers will be able to come out on top.
“We’re going in to this off the back of just one defeat in eight games and I’m sure if we play to the best of our ability we can win it,” said Smith.
“I’m really looking forward to leading the team out at Roots Hall.
“There should be a really good atmosphere and hopefully we can progress.
“We have set ourselves a target of the third round and I’m confident we can do that.
“We went out at the first round stage last season and we’re determined not to let that happen again.”
Maidstone set up the tie at Roots Hall by beating Sutton on penalties in the final qualifying round of the competition.
And Smith and his team-mates were in attendance at the game.
“We went down to watch Maidstone in the last round and they did quite well against Sutton even though Sutton weren’t the best,” said Smith.
“It’s nice to be playing the game at Roots Hall rather than at their place and hopefully with the home support we can beat them.
“They played some good football when we watched but I know what this team is capable of and we’re all very excited to be playing under the lights at Roots Hall.”
Tonight’s game kicks off at 7.30pm with adult tickets costing £3 and concessions £1.