Darren Sarll proud of young Stevenage side after FA Youth Cup win

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: DANNY LOO

Stevenage FC manager Darren Sarll. Picture: DANNY LOO - Credit: Archant

Darren Sarll has spoken of his pride as Stevenage U18s made it to the third round of the FA Youth Cup with a 2-0 win over Charlton Athletic.

Goals from Mark McKee and Michael Cregan booked young Boro side’s passage and the first-team boss, who used to be manager of the Stevenage academy, was delighted to seei it.

Sarll said: “It was a terrific performance and a really good, pleasing result.

“What I really liked about it was I saw a continuation of the work we were doing [when I was academy manager] before I moved up to first-team coaching and management.

“I liked the way our boys played. They looked like good people, proper people. They looked hard-working and loved their football.

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“I was pleased those values were present because they were the foundations the academy was built on. They want to do well for the football club and move into the first team.

“It was really pleasing to see the boys stick at it and then a little moment of magic by Mark McKee to open the scoring.

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“I was pleased for Robbie O’Keefe, Jordan Gibson, Steve Payne, etc. They should be very proud of themselves.”

Boro’s reward is a trip to Premier League giants Tottenham Hotspur, although because of a deal with the two clubs, that match will actually be hosted at the Lamex.

And Sarll believes that the reward is just what the team would have wanted.

He said: “I think we know that the odds are against us winning the FA Youth Cup. But I think that’s why you do it. You try and get to the third round, pull a big one and test yourselves on that stage.

“To have Tottenham is a real good test for us.”

And the Boro boss also believes that some of that U18 squad could be getting more tests in the future, with some close to breaking into his first-team.

“They’re not far at all,” he said. “I consider Mark McKee to be a first-team squad player and he’s been close to his debut a couple of time and then injury or illness has struck and he’s not quite been able to start.

“But he’s a gifted young man and he’s very close. All he needs is a bit of consistency to his training and the programme we’ve got him on. He’ll get there.

“I though they were all great on the night and the teamwork and team ethic from the group is to be admired and applauded.

“And the humility and values they showed as people is probably the most pleasing aspect.”

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