Dons youngsters to be given a taste of first-team life for FA Youth Cup clash

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MK Dons U18s will be looking to book their spot in the third round of the FA Youth Cup tomorrow night

Some of English football's biggest names honed their craft and made their names in the FA Youth Cup, and MK Dons U18s will be hoping for a similar impact on their careers tomorrow night.

The young Dons will be given as close to a first-team experience as possible for their second-round game against Barking on Wednesday night - from the team bus, video analysis in a hotel ahead of the game to post-match nutrition, all ahead of a day at college on Thursday too.

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Dons booked their spot in the second-round courtesy of a comfortable 3-0 win over Stourbridge, but know a trip to the north London side will not be an easy one.

However, with a third round spot in the offing, academy manager Ben Smith said the glamour of the competition will not be lost on the players.

"Sometimes just to play in this competition is amazing exposure," he said. "You don't want to take the glamour away from the FA Youth Cup because it's an amazing achievement.

"This is a prestigious competition and we need to embrace that with the lads and the coaching staff. We have an abundance of staff who like to go to these games and celebrate the boys getting to that level.

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"We'll all be looking forward to getting on the bus and another away trip.

"It's all about experience and opportinity - what does it look like preparing for an evening match. You get up at a good time, do some form of exercise, eat and drink properly. We're taking it seriously."

Kick-off is at 7:30pm at the Lawtech Stadium. To buy a ticket ahead of tomorrow night's game CLICK HERE

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