The FA Youth Cup

Hear from both managers ahead of the Manchester City v Leeds showdown on Friday

Everything you need to know and thoughts from both managers ahead of the FA Youth Cup Final between Manchester City and Leeds on Friday

Thursday 09 May 2024

Manchester City play Leeds in the FA Youth Cup Final on Friday.

In line with the draw, the Final will be staged at the Etihad Stadium on 10 May with the game kicking off at 7pm BST.

City are set to feature in this showdown for the sixth time in ten seasons, though their only victory in those five previous attempts came in 2020, when they beat Chelsea 3-2.

A 1-0 semi-final victory over Bristol City secured them their place in this match while their opponents Leeds, who last got their hands on the trophy in 1997, progressed after overcoming Millwall 4-3 in the final four.

The Final will be streamed live on The FA Player, Emirates FA Cup X, YouTube and TikTok channels. Find out where you can watch the game via our global broadcast list here.

Ben Wilkinson, Manchester City manager, said:

"The beauty of the FA Youth Cup is that it's the same as any cup competition in the world. Any team can beat another on any given day.

"We've seen that again this year. If you had to pick four semi-finalists you wouldn't have picked the line-up for this year's tournament. We played Bristol City and it was a huge challenge for us.

"We've had quite a lot thrown at us over the course of the tournament in terms of injuries. We've really had to dig deep with different players standing up in different moments.

"We know that teams raise their game when they're playing Manchester City, that's the reality at first-team level and the same thing is true to a lesser extent at this level. The standards and culture of this football club means we have to do everything we can to match that.

"This Final is another step in the players' football journey and a chance for us to lift a trophy against a very good side, who play open and expansive football. It should be a hugely entertaining match-up."

Rob Etherington, Leeds manager, said:

"This match has really captured the imagination. The level of support we receive at this club, from the academy to the first team, is just incredible.

"I think it's what separates us from every other football club. I'm a fan myself and I know that if you're from Leeds then there's only one team you support. If you open up the Etihad to the Leeds fans then they will come.

"For us, we know that this is a chance to create our own little bit of history. It's 27 years since Leeds last had their name on the trophy but this is a club that is synonymous with youth development. We go into every game with the intention of winning it.

"We also go into those matches with the intention of playing the game the way we want to play it. We're developing players for Leeds United. And to play in front of 36,000, you’ve got to have that desire and expectation that you’re going to win a game of football."

You can read the full interview with both managers in the official match programme for the FA youth Cup Final. Buy at the Etihad Stadium on the day or order a copy online.

By Adam Drury