Nantwich Town’s U18 defender Stelios Piperakis believes that the youth team are capable of pulling off an unlikely result over Oldham Athletic in the FA Youth Cup First Round Proper.
Piperakis played in all three of the Dabbers’ FA Youth Cup qualifying round ties, and the Dabbers travel to Boundary Park, and he believes that “[If we play] with the freedom and enjoyment we usually do and hopefully, we can cause an upset. “
Stelios believes that the Dabbers’ U18s winning all three of their qualifying ties being won in extra-time makes their appearance in the First Round Proper even better
“It’s an amazing experience for not only the players, but also our management staff.
“The closeness of the prior rounds, all going to extra-time, makes it all just that bit sweeter!”
The defender also believes that the change to the North-West Counties Alliance Division One has helped both himself and the youth side.
“Of course, playing in a new and more competitive league of such a decent standard has helped both me and the team improve.
“It requires consistently solid performances and real effort, which I feel has helped me develop as a footballer.”
Piperakis also reckons that the management staff has also helped him this season.
“The management staff have pushed us all hard in training and making sure we are trying new things and pushing us outside of our comfort zone.
“This makes us all develop as players.”
Ahead of this evening’s FA Youth Cup tie with Oldham, Piperakis believes that the atmosphere and venue the young Dabbers will be playing in will help the side thrive.
“I think both myself and all of the lads are excited to take on a Football League club, especially with it being at their home ground.
“Hopefully we will be able to channel this excitement into a good performance tonight.”
Despite the fact the Dabbers will be seen as underdogs his evening, Stelios reckons the situation could take away the pressure.
“Due to us being underdogs I think this eliminates the pressure out of a regular game – this could allow us to play with the freedom and enjoyment we usually do and hopefully, we can cause an upset.
“I’m personally focused on just going into the game with the right attitude and by playing the best I can.”