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FC Halifax Town Youth Team reach the final of the National League Academy Cup after beating South Shields in a penalty shootout.

FC Halifax Youth Team have now reached the final of the National League Academy Cup after beating South Shields in a penalty shootout at the 1st Cloud Arena on 23rd March.

The semi-final ended 0-0 at full time and went into penalties where, after a misplaced first shot, the young Shaymen converted the following seven penalties. These important goals combined with two saves saw them net the victory.

Lead Coach, Gavin Atherton, said: “This is a great achievement for the club, staff and players.  We are a young group with a number of first-year players and the team has developed well over the duration of the season. 

“They work hard in training and have shown a great mentality to overcome obstacles this season, this has been fantastic for me to see.  However, we must want more; we have a number of remaining league games and we want to stay focused and carry this momentum into the National final.”

Steve Nichol, Director of Youth, Junior & Community at FC Halifax Town, added: “Reaching the League Cup Final is a great reward for all the staff and players. I see first-hand the work of Gavin, Nick, Jack, Calum and Abbey to prepare the players. The players are history makers in reaching the final of this competition for the first time. It is 18-months of hard work on and off the pitch to reach this point. It is made day by day, session by session, minute by minute rather than any overnight success. 

“Reaching the final is a small reward and a sign that we are heading in the right direction in the longer-term process of having an effective youth development programme in place”.

This season has seen former Youth Team graduate Carl Rushworth represent the England U21’s and Jay Benn secure his place in the first team squad showing further signs of the youth development heading in the right direction.

FC Halifax Town U19s will now face Eastleigh in the final with it being played at the Worcester Warriors, Sixways Stadium on Wednesday May 4th with kick-off at 7pm. Admission will also be free for spectators.