BILLERICAY Town’s under 18 boss Martin Thurston is excited to be facing Southend United in the FA Youth Cup on friday.
Town have made their way past both Enfield Borough and Cockfosters to set up Friday night’s clash with the Shrimpers.
And Thurston cannot wait for kick-off.
“We’re excited,” said Thurston.
“It’s a big game for the boys and the club in general.
“It’s a localish derby and we’re all very excited.
“The club have marketed it on Twitter and we have 50 teams at the club.
“Quite a few will be staying behind after their training on Friday and others will be making the journey down to watch.
“Hopefully we should have a decent following and I’m sure Southend will bring a few down too considering it’s only down the road and it’s a Friday night game under the lights.
“Hopefully it will be a decent crowd and a game that’s a good advertisement for youth football in Essex.”
Billericay go into the game having played just one Eastern Junior Alliance League game so far this season.
And Thurston feels it has been a tough opening few weeks for his team.
“It’s been tough so far but we’ve played very well in the FA Youth Cup so far,” said Thurston.
“We beat Enfield Borough 3-1 in the first game and Cockfosters 5-3 a few weeks ago.
“Other than that it’s been about having to rest players.
“Playing on a Friday then having to play on a Sunday has been a bit difficult.
“It’s not been the best of starts but we’ve given a good account of ourselves in the cup so far to get this far and hopefully we can do the same on Friday.
“Maybe with a little bit of lady luck as well we can progress further too.”
But Thurston knows Blues will be tough to beat.
“They’re going to be strong and they’re going to be fitter than ourselves if they’re training five days a week,” said Thurston.
“They’ll be tight-knit as a group and it’s going to be tough.
“Our boys will need to be at their best from the first whistle and overcome any nerves they have “It’s a big draw for the club and whatever will be will be.
“We’re looking forward to it.”
Friday's match kicks off at 7.45pm at New Lodge with tickets available online and at the ground before the game but only card payments will be accepted.
Adult tickets are priced at £5 while tickets for those aged under 16 are just £1.