Shannon Ruth enjoys the different challenges provided when his under-21s compete in the Sussex Senior Cup.
They face another in tonight’s semi-final when Albion take on Bognor Regis Town at Culver Road, Lancing.
To get to this stage, Albion beat Three Bridges on penalties, needed a last-minute winner to see off Burgess Hill before a 3-0 win over Littlehampton in the last eight that was closer than the scoreline might suggest.
Under-21s head coach Ruth said, “In all of those games we’ve had a good mix of under-21s and under-18s involved, who have had to display that they’re capable of showing their abilities outside of an academy environment.
“The Senior Cup is always a great learning curve for our young players, as they come up against players who have been in the game longer than them and have good experience of managing a match.”
It can also be part of a pathway for some of his young players. The team that beat Worthing in last year’s final contains five players currently on loan in the EFL.
Ruth added, “James Beadle, James Furlong, Ed Turns, Jack Spong and Todd Miller are all now playing in the EFL or Scottish Premiership and will have benefitted from the experience of playing in the Sussex Senior Cup as they came through the ranks with us.
“Andrew Moran was also in that team that won the final and made his Premier League debut for us in January, which highlights how much emphasis we put on this competition.
“Prior to those young players securing loans, this competition will have been one of their first tastes of coming up against a men’s team in a competitive environment.”
Admission prices for tonight’s game are: £12.00 Adult (17+); £8.00 Concession (66+ and students with valid student ID card); £3.00 Child (16 and under). Cash and card accepted.