30,000 sell out for Blades vs Man Utd
Updated Tuesday, 17th May 2011
Bramall Lane will be packed to the rafters tonight when the academy lock horns with Manchester United in their FA Youth Cup Final showdown...
A sell out crowd will be backing Sheffield United's youngsters this evening in the first-leg of the FA Youth Cup Final at Bramall Lane.
The Blades were rewarded with a place in the prestigious final after beating Aston Villa 3:0 on aggregate in the semis, and only Paul McGuiness' Manchester United stand in the way of the Blades claiming a piece of silverware and history.
Much credit has to go the way of academy boss John Pemberton, who has totally revitalised the academy setup with his own philosophies since replacing Ron Reid at the helm.
The FA Youth Cup Final attracts much attention, with managers and scouts alike no doubt in attendance to see the new crop of talent being produced in both United's and the Red Devils' academies.
Tonight's crowd at the Lane will be the biggest any one of the Blades boys would have played in their career, thus bringing natural added pressure, as if winning the cup itself wasn't already such a mammoth task, and John Pemberton echoed those sentiments:
"The kids are looking forward to it, a bit nervous maybe because of the size of the crowd that will be here but that's understandable.
"I am hoping that the fact that we have played and trained at Bramall Lane before will hold us in good stead even though the attendance is likely to way above anything that most of them have experienced before as players.
"They have thoroughly deserved it after how the lads have progressed this season and it is great that they can pit themselves against a club like Manchester United."
With the second-leg arranged for next Monday (23rd May) at Old Trafford, the occasion becomes even greater, and Pemberton reveals that the Blades will use their offensive tactics, will attack in both games and won't sit back.
He continued: "We will try and win both games as we did against Aston Villa in the semi, not just the first and then go away and hope to hang on. If we do then there can be no argument about whether we deserve to win, and if we fall short we won't have any regrets about how we went about the job.
"I know their coach, Paul McGuiness, very well and when we played them earlier this season we drew 1-1 in an excellent game."
Pembo finished: "I hope that we are a shining light for the club at the end of a difficult season. The fans at this club have always been fantastic; they will stick with us and hopefully we will be okay next season."
It should be a great night, with a full capacity, and hopefully it'll be a night every Blades fan can remember for a long time (for the right reasons!).
Come on Blades!!!