CREWE'S history-making youngsters are aiming to take a giant step towards a place in the FA Youth Cup final tomorrow.
The Alex's Under 18s side take on Middlesbrough in the first leg of their semi-final at Gresty Road (7pm), looking to continue a run which has already seen them dispose of Sunderland, Swindon, Brentford and Cirencester.
It is the first time in the club's history they have reached the last four of the competition, and Academy director Steve Holland knows his team are in for a tough test.
'Middlesbrough were in the final last year and in the other semi-final are Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers, who won the competition in the previous two years. So now we're at this stage, you're talking about the cream of the country.
'We're happy to be here but now we are we want to do as well as we can.
'I have known Dave Parnaby, who runs their youth system, for a long time and I have great respect for him.
'They will without doubt be the best team we've played. It will be a very difficult game and a real test and challenge for the players.'
Assistant Academy director Terry McPhillips added: 'We took the boys to see Middlesbrough play Tranmere in the previous round and they played good football.
'We know we're going to have to play well but we've probably had our best matches in this run at home. So if we can keep that going and the strikers can blend, we'll have a chance.' Crewe have injury concerns over keeper Owain fon Williams and centre-back Nat Kerr but England U17s midfielder and captain Gary Roberts returns.
Admission is £3 adults and £1 concessions. Fans can pay at the turnstiles.
The second leg will take place at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday, April 7 and whatever the outcome of the tie, Holland is determined to enjoy it.
He said: 'The staff were talking yesterday and we said that if you look at the last week, the first team have played West Brom live on television, the U19s played Manchester United on Saturday, the first team are at West Ham tonight and we are playing Middlesbrough in the FA Youth Cup semi-finals tomorrow.
'It's great credit to the club in general and everyone who is involved with it that we're playing at the level we are.'