We stuck with it. The shape from the off, an early goal, we set the tone and carried on with it for the full game.Kyle Hurst
The Development Squad were comprehensive 3-0 winners at Ipswich Town Under-23s in their Semi-Final on Tuesday evening.
It was a highly impressive showing, with every department of the side outperforming their opposition.
Hurst got Blues third goal, deep into added-time, after ‘keeper Henry Wright had kept the winger and his teammates at bay with a string of super saves.
“It was a great performance,” said First Year Scholar Hurst.
“We stuck with it. The shape from the off, an early goal, we set the tone and carried on with it for the full game.
“The game plan was the same as we have done all season.
“Be aggressive, press as a team, defend well and obviously try to take advantage on the counter attack, and that’s what we did.
“It was varying it as well. They expected long balls, playing it over the top. But when we calmed it down they got tired. And that’s when we penetrated them. We played really, really well.
“It was a great feeling at the end, not had anything like it. After, you’re celebrating with the lads knowing you’ve made the final – we’ve got to do the same now in the final.”
The Final, at Elland Road, is on a date to be confirmed, before May 10.
Blues finished runners-up to Leeds in the PDL North, so it promises to be some showdown.
“They’re a good team, they’re going to be a good test for us,” said Hurst.
“We have just got to do the same as we have all season and try and get the victory.”
Hurst’s ability to dribble past opponents and cause problems in dangerous areas makes him somewhat of a throwback kind of wide player.
At Portman Road, with Corey O’Keeffe’s strong and direct running and bursts into the area from the opposite flank, makes for a nice balance.
Hurst is well aware of his role and what he is expected, similarly as are Garry Monk's wingers in the First Team.
“Whichever wing I play on, it’s about staying high and wide. That means the full-back then has a choice to come with me or the striker.
“If he comes with me, then the striker’s in. The movement to come short or go behind, it works on both sides for us.
“Defending, it’s to stay narrow and show them wide.”
Hurst is one of a clutch of younger players to get an opportunity with the Under-23s.
He’s 17, while two of the regular back four behind 17-year-old goalkeeper Zach Jeacock are 19 (Joe Redmond, Geraldo Bajrami), another 18 (Ryan Burke).
Midfielders Ryan Stirk and Caolan Boyd-Munce are 18 and 19 respectively.
Adan George, 16, made his starting debut at Ipswich (scoring the second goal), then there’s Josh Andrews (17) who came on, along with the precocious Jude Bellingham (15).
“The team’s young and very close. Through scholar years they played a lot together.
“I got to know them a bit when I played up. I’ve been with them since (this season regularly) and I’ve mixed in well.
“They have looked after me, it’s a really great group of lads.”