Southend United's Jack Payne out to stretch his 18th birthday celebrations with win against Portsmouth in FA Youth Cup (From Echo)
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Southend United's Jack Payne out to stretch his 18th birthday celebrations with win against Portsmouth in FA Youth Cup
JACK Payne wants to extend his birthday celebrations by helping Southend United win at Portsmouth in the first round of the FA Youth Cup tomorrow.
The talented attacker turns 18 today.
And he wants to mark the occasion with a win at Fratton Park.
“Scoring in a win at Portsmouth in the FA Youth Cup would be the perfect way to celebrate my birthday,” said Payne.
“We’ve played them already in the league this season and drew 1-1, but I thought we had the better of the chances that day so we do feel as if we can go there and win.
“The FA Youth Cup is always a huge night for us and this will be no different so we’re fired up to do well.”
Payne is also keen to impress and continue his successful start to the season.
The youngster has already scored eight times this term and is keen to again catch the eye.
“I’ve had a good start to the year and want to try to keep that going,” said Payne, who is from Gants Hill.
“I don't normally set myself targets but, even though we have less games this year, it would be great if I could get to 20 goals.”
Payne, who is at his best playing just behind the front man, also impressed in front of goal last season.
And that led to him being given a new pair of boots by first team midfielder Michael Timlin.
“Tims said if I got to 15 goals then he would give me some boots and luckily enough I got there,” said Payne.
“I’m not wearing them at the moment because they’re a little bit sore but I want to keep doing well.
“I’ve trained a couple of times with the first team and think I’ve done OK so hopefully I can keep that up.”
Tomorrow’s game kicks off at 7pm with the winners going on to play either Carshalton Athletic or Working at home in the second round.
And Blues’ head of youth Ricky Duncan is keen for that to be his side.
“Portsmouth away is probably as hard as it could have got for us in the first round but we’re very much looking forward to it,” said Duncan.
“Our aim every year is to try and make the third round of the competition and it’s the same this season.
“That would be a good achievement for a category three club and it’s one we’re certainly targeting.”
Blues have no new injury concerns for the first round tie but will be again missing left-back Rob Hyams, who has a knee problem.