Young Saints bow out

PUBLISHED: 09:19 19 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 06 May 2010

Rob Magwood hurdles a Wycombe challenge. Photo: Robert Walkley.

Rob Magwood hurdles a Wycombe challenge. Photo: Robert Walkley.

STEVE Castle paid tribute to his young Saints after their FA Youth Cup adventure came to an end against Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night. The Saints bowed out with their heads held high following a penalty shootout defeat to Wycombe and Castle was full

STEVE Castle paid tribute to his young Saints after their FA Youth Cup adventure came to an end against Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night.

The Saints bowed out with their heads held high following a penalty shootout defeat to Wycombe and Castle was full or praise for his side.

"I'm just so proud of them," said Castle. "They're absolutely gutted losing at penalties, someone had to lose with the penalties but to take two league teams all the way and obviously beat one of the them that's a great testament to a college set up.

"I think there was an awful lot of tired bodies out there and a lot of mistakes but we could have just hung on.

"The individual mistakes I'm not going to talk about, any misses or mistakes in front of goal, because they all made a gigantic effort."

Castle revealed that there were a few tears shed in the dressing room after the game with the team missing out on a trip to local rivals Watford.

"With the nature of the Youth Cup run we've always known who we've got in the next round and the sight of our near Championship neighbours (Watford) was so enticing," continued the City boss.

"You've got people like JJ (Jonathan O'Donnell) and Rob Magwood who were there as kids and got rejected and there's a few tears in there. It is an emotional game football and I do feel for them but they can take an awful lot of credit for this."

Some of the biggest clubs in the country had scouts at the game including Manchester United and Everton and Castle believes some of his players will have caught the eye.

"There's an awful lot of scouts coming and having a look at some players and I'd imagine they're coming to have a look at the St Albans college players because they're the same lads (scouts) that came and looked against Colchester," revealed Castle.

"They're a great bunch of lads, we try and get that balance, you want to win but at the end of the day it's about development, and we're trying to develop them into as good a players as we possibly can. There's people like myself, who've had pro careers and not achieved as much as the lads have done in the FA Youth Cup so it's terrific I'm really pleased for them."

City's senior side are on the FA Trophy trail this weekend when they travel to Woking.

The side go into the game with a 1-0 victory at the same venue nine days ago fresh in their minds and Castle says they've done a lot of work this week on the training ground ahead of the big match.

"We've trained to maximum time this week, we've put effort in, we're going to have a practice game of a sort tomorrow and just sort of drum down a few things with set plays being the main one.

"We've got a nice belief, obviously Mark Peters being my assistant but also going onto the football pitch he has said to me the last couple of times there really is a nice positive vibe about everything at the moment which sometimes I feel but when you're on the pitch, which is not my domain, it's nice to get that feedback from a player albeit the assistant manager."

Adam Everitt and David Galbraith look set to miss the Woking game through injury but apart from that City go into the game with a clean bill of health.

The Saints have announced details of a credit-crunch busting half-season ticket covering the remaining 12 home Blue Square South fixtures this season.

The half-season tickets cost £90 and offer a significant saving compared to paying at the gate on a match-by-match basis.

To take advantage of this offer, which will only be available for a limited period, visit the club office at Clarence Park or call Steve Eames on 01727 864296.

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