Under-18s up for the Cup

Joe Redmond
Joe Redmond in training at Wast Hills

Admission is just £4 and £2 on Tuesday and Redmond and his team mates are hoping for a sizeable turnout from supporters.


Blues are in action at St. Andrew's on Tuesday in the Fourth Round of the FA Youth Cup.

The Under-18s take on Sheffield United in what is sure to be a keenly-fought contest (7pm).

And the tie has been given extra spice by the possibility of a trip to Aston Villa in the next round.

The draw was made on Friday and if Villa despatch Bury on Tuesday and Blues do the business against the Blades, there's a derby in the offing.

Centre-half Joe Redmond says that Blues are not thinking that far ahead.

“We all know what needs to be done on Tuesday. That’s our main focus," said the Ireland Youth international.

“Yes, it would be great if we ended up playing them. I don’t think any of us would have to get up for playing at Villa Park in a derby. But we can’t think about that, it’s Tuesday that is important.”

Steve Spooner's Under-18s have been in a rich vein of form. But when they faced Sheffield in November at Wast Hills in the PDL, they lost 4-2.

It was, however, an unusual blip amid an excellent sequence of results.

"On the day I think we needed to land on more second balls. We can do that. We got back in the game but then the momentum swung their way again.

“We expect them to be physical and direct on Tuesday and we will look to match them for that. Then on the ball we will see what happens."

Blues saw off Bristol City 2-1 at Ashton Gate in the Third Round. It was a hugely entertaining cup tie.

Redmond reflected: “Bristol was a good learning curve. For some of us it was a first game in the FA Youth Cup. We started off a bit rocky, developed control and then held on at the end. We competed and won our individual battles.

“The game was going one way and the other. You just have to make sure you stay in it. Whether that means tracking a runner, not switching off. It’s about making sure you are still in it when you are under pressure – and I thought we did that well."

Blues, fielding a young side, drew 1-1 at home to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday. They returned after the Christmas break with a bang.

“I think we have come back sharp. And we will give it a good bash Tuesday," said Redmond.

“We had a 4-0 win at Huddersfield the week before, a nice clean sheet.

“We played really well and we’re looking forward to Tuesday. It will be a tough battle, but we’re more than capable."

“At the start of the season we weren’t really picking up the results," Redmond added. "But we started to find our way and we’ve been doing really well and moving up the table."

The Club's scouting prowess in Ireland helped secure the Dubliner's services as an Academy Scholar.

“I was playing for St. Joseph’s and was doing well, playing internationally for the Republic," recalled Redmond, who turns 18 next week.

“I came over on trial and in the two weeks I was here the Club liked me and it went from there.

“Ever since I started playing when I was five all I ever wanted to do was go to England and play professional football for a good club.

“Birmingham’s the right club for me. There was Birmingham and another club who were interested and here just felt like home when I came, it was like a family, everyone looked after me and made sure I was all right.

“And when you weren’t training they didn’t leave you, there was always someone to talk to.

“I felt the coaches were very good, professional, and they have really helped make me. I feel I have developed a lot.”

Redmond's performance and leadership in the heart of the Blues defence will be vital at St. Andrew's. And he is suited to being in the thick of things.

“I like to win my headers and tackles, but I can play as well.

“I love heading and I love tackling, the old school side.

“I like getting on the ball, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy playing out from the back. But I’d say my main trait as a player is to go and win it, be aggressive, and be a leader out on the pitch really.”

Admission is just £4 and £2 on Tuesday and Redmond and his team mates are hoping for a sizeable turnout from supporters.

“It will be great for us all being at St. Andrew's. We haven’t played in front of big crowds. A good few, but the more people that come down, it will help us out a lot. With them at our backs, it can help us go and do a job.”