Their success has been a ray of light in an otherwise gloomy campaign.

While the first team has faltered this past season, Chester FC 's Academy starlets have seen off all comers and now just 90 minutes separates them from national glory.

The Blues, under the tutelage of head coach Calum McIntyre, will take on FC Halifax Town on Wednesday evening (7pm kick off) at the Banks's Stadium, home of League One side Walsall, in the final of the National League Under-19 Alliance Cup.

Chester's U19s have already lifted silverware this season, winning Division K of the National League U19 Alliance without losing a game.

And for McIntyre, who took charge of the final three games of the season for the first team in the National League, it is a chance to end a trying season on a major high, and the 24-year-old has called on fans to turn out in force to back his young Blues.

Said McIntyre: "This cup run has been an unbelievable sub plot in a difficult season for the club. These boys have shown how proud they are to represent Chester Football Club and what they have achieved is incredible.



"It's going to be a huge test for our group. We have been significantly younger than pretty much every side we've come up against this season. We've found that most clubs look to play Under 19 players at this level, whereas for us we would refer to them as a first year professional. So many clubs look to play their Under 19s in a Youth league whereas our lads of Under 19 age are playing first team football or for England C

Chester FC Youth manager Calum McIntyre
Chester FC Youth manager Calum McIntyre



"Halifax are a terrific set up and I am full of praise and respect for what Mark Trueman and Steve Nichol have achieved. Mark and I have been in touch before to assist with one another's preparations in the FA Youth Cup so I rate him and what he's about.

"It feels like everything is stacked is against us but I feel so, so used to that scenario. Halifax have had three weeks without a competitive game, whereas we have played five times since they last kicked a ball. Add in the age of our squad and the fact we played on Sunday and everyone will be pointing to a Halifax win. I've never made any excuses or bought into an underdog tag.

"We saw off the best side in the country in the last round, defied the circumstances to win down in London in the round before and dealt with the pressure of playing in front of 1,000 people before that. I was told that we couldn't ever make the competition proper of the FA Youth Cup but those nights against Bolton and Fleetwood weren't an accident."

Chester's academy has really come into its own in the past couple of seasons.

Success has followed success and those who have graduated from the academy set up have shone for the first team, with the likes of Sam Hughes earning himself a big money move to former Premier League champions Leicester City last summer.

And with Tom Crawford, James Jones and Nathan Brown all starring during the season just past, the ability of the club's academy to succeed on a shoestring is testament to the hard yards that have gone in behind the scenes.

McIntyre added: "The Youth section at this football clubs believes in the impossible and delivers the improbable. We have had nine debuts, two England C internationals and a lad in the Premier League in the last 12 months. It's not bad going really is it?

"I need everyone on Wednesday. I am so behind my players and I will do everything I can to deliver for them on Wednesday. They're my boys and my staff are my people. They've been unbelievable for me and I want this for them. The supporters have been unbelievable for us right the way through this competition and we need you again one more time.

"We need you to lift us when we're up against us and I need you to show these boys that you're behind them. Get right behind us from the off, you'll be getting behind a group who will graft for ninety minutes and have flown the flag for the club this season. I know what the supporters of this club are about and I need every one of you on Wednesday."