Shrewsbury Town are set to send a young side to tonight’s Shropshire Senior Cup Semi-Final against Shawbury United.
Town’s Youth Team have twice won the competition in recent years, but lost out last season to AFC Telford United in the final and will be looking to guide Town back to the final this time around.
“We are looking forward to it”, Andy told ShrewsWeb.
“Traditionally, it’s a first-team fixture, so it’s great testament that the Gaffer’s given it to us as a Youth Department to take control of the game.
“We will have a mixture of first-year pros, that we worked with last year, some of our new scholars and some of our second years all mixed together, so it should be a good challenge.”
Shawbury have already beaten Haughmond in this year’s competition and the Academy boss is expecting a difficult game.
“It will be a good test”, Jones said.
“We played Newtown first-team on Saturday and part of the talk before the game was that if you are aspiring towards the first-team and aspiring towards becoming a professional then these are the games you need to stick out in.
“When we go to Shawbury on Thursday we will go with the idea that they’ve got to be ready, they’ve got compete and they’ve got to show the gaffer what they can do.”
Town’s five first-year professionals are likely to be involved and Andy believes the game provides a good opportunity for them to show what they are capable of.
“For the first-year pros it will be a chance to impress”, said Andy.
“I don’t think there was ever going to be a lot of game time for them within the first few weeks of the season, but from what I can tell they have been training well and they just need to wait for their opportunity.
“They are still young and they are still learning the game. The youth environment is totally different to the first-team environment, so it will take time, but it’s important they come along tonight and show what they can do against an adult side.”