Grimsby Town youth team captain Joe Starbuck says his teammates can use last season’s title-winning experiences as inspiration for the FA Youth Cup tie with Crewe Alexandra.
Neil Woods’s travel to Gresty Road to face the Railwaymen in the second round of the competition on Wednesday (7pm), after beating Rugby Town 1-0 in extra time in the first round.
And Starbuck believes the young Mariners can utilise their experience of winning the EFL North East Youth Alliance last season as they prepare to face Crewe in the FA Youth Cup.
Speaking exclusively to gtfc.co.uk, he said: “A lot of these lads were involved last year.
“Some of the lads came up for the last two games, and if we didn’t win them we wouldn’t have won the league.
“It gives you a little bit more confidence, and it also gives you an idea of the level of it is.
“It is a different level but you get used to it, and you gradually grow into it so it’s a good thing.
“Everyone’s striving for success, and you wouldn’t expect any different – we’ve just got to do our best and hope for the best.
“It’s going to be tough – it can go to extra time so you have to be prepared for anything.
“Rugby Town aren’t a professional side and they gave us a good game so anything can happen in this competition.
“We’ve played against teams the same as Crewe – category two clubs.
“But we treat them no differently, and we’ve got results out of those games in the past.”
And the 17-year-old hailed the importance and benefit of being able to play in different first-team stadiums in the FA Youth Cup.
He said: “You have the chance to play in different stadiums and experience different atmospheres.
“The pitches are bigger and better and it brings something a bit different to what you’re used to.
“Even with no one in the stadiums, the atmosphere is still a lot different.
“There’s the chance to play some really big teams in different stadiums so that adds a little bit more motivation to go further.
“You want to go as far as you can in this cup, but you shouldn’t really treat it differently to any other game.”