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Rusk: Let's showcase ourselves

Simon Rusk hailed ‘an incredible achievement’ after an Albion under-21 side won their Leasing.com group, and how the competition is a great opportunity for the players to showcase themselves.

By James Hilsum • 03 December 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Simon Rusk

Albion host Newport in a second round tie at the Amex tonight, and Rusk spoke about the raised profile which the competition gives his side.

He said, “We’re really looking forward to the game, as we love the competition and what it exposes the players to.

“I can’t speak for Newport in terms of the players they will use, but if we get through, then it gives us a chance to put the players in the spotlight.

“To win the group with a young side and get a home tie at the Amex, is an incredible achievement. I’m really proud of the players, and hopefully we can put in a good performance on the night.”

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U21 highlights: Orient 1 Albion 1 (Orient win on pens)

The under-23 coach is hoping for a healthy crowd on the night, and says the prospect of playing in a Wembley final is a massive incentive for his squad.

“It’s great for our players’ development and playing in front of supporters gives the game a different energy, there’s no doubt about that.

“We’re always appreciative of any support that we have, and we always want to put in a good performance for the fans that do turn up.

“We’re in a competition that has a Wembley final and we have aspirations to go as far as possible.”

Rusk spoke more in general about the youthful composition of his squad, and highlighted the positives of being able to blood a number of under-18s players in the team.

“We work very closely with the under-18s, and probably more so this year because we’re a slightly younger group with the 23s.

“It’s a great success for the players who have gone out on some fantastic loans, and we have two or three players that are on the fringes of the first-team too.

“With that in mind, we have created a strong relationship with the under-18 staff, in terms of which players come up at the right times.”

Tickets are still on sale, and will also be available on the night at the Amex, priced at £5 for adults and £2 for concessions.

Parking will be available for free in Bennett's Field with no need to book in advance, but the Bridge car park is closed tonight. Please note that there will be no travel included in your tickets for this fixture.

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