Luton Town youth team manager Paul Driver insists confidence is sky-high in his “best-ever crop” and they welcome Colchester on Monday in the FA Youth Cup first round ready to cause an upset.
The Hatters are a category three youth side but are flying in the league this season, top of the table and unbeaten in their first 14 games.
While on paper their visitors Colchester are favourites as a category two club, Driver is excited about what his side can produce.
Luton Town v Colchester United
FA Youth Cup first round
7pm Monday 2 November 2015
And, when you consider the disappointing defeat suffered in this competition’s second round last year to non-league Oxford City, Driver feels his players have extra motivation.
“We don’t know a great deal about Colchester, but we are worried about ourselves,” said Driver, in his fifth year at the helm.
“Last year we got knocked out at Oxford City, which on paper looked like a good draw, so we are not thinking about it too much.
“But we have got a lot of confidence, we are flying high.
“I would say this is the best group I have had in my five years here, whether that translates into bringing through lads into the first team we will have to wait and see.
“We are flying in the league at the moment and we are looking forward to the opportunity, to play a competitive game against a team from a higher league, and there is the chance to go further and maybe play a Premier League team which is something we are hoping to do.”
For Colchester meanwhile, the pain of last season's third round loss on penalties to local rivals Ipswich still cuts deep for boss Wayne Brown.
“This is the big one for our kids, this is a great opportunity”
Wayne Brown Colchester United coach
And, in his second year at the helm, Brown is desperate for his side to make amends this time around.
“Losing the local derby last year was very frustrating, penalties is never a great way to go out of a competition,” he said.
“It’s all experience for the lads, they had to take it on the chin and now we want to build on that this season.
“This is the big one for our kids, this is a great opportunity and if you do get on a run we could be playing a Premier League team.
“That’s what you want to do, especially away from home, going to a big side and hopefully we can get past the third round this time.
“It’s been pretty good start to the season for us, we have shown a bit of inconsistency with performance but this is quite a young team.
“Ten of the guys are in their first year in our squad, it’s great for them to be able to get this experience and it should stand them in good stead.”