Academy Manager Barry Jeffreys is targeting progression in the FA Youth Cup with the young Wings just two games away from a place in the first round proper. 

Welling United take on Erith & Belvedere in the second qualifying round of the competition on Friday night (7pm) in what has been dubbed the ‘Battle of PVR’ and Jeffreys is keen for the youngsters to go one step further than last season with victory in DA16. 

A place in the next stage of the competition will mean that the young Wings would be within touching distance of a potential plum tie against an EFL side in round one. 

“The Youth Cup is a competition the boys and staff massively look forward to every year,” he said. 

“We always want to go as far as we can and, last year, we got to this stage but went out to Corinthian Casuals, so we’re looking to take another step or two forwards this year. 

“The first-round proper is always our target – we’ve been going for five years now and every year we’ve taken another step further. Erith will be a tough opposition, but if we can get through it, then we’re just one game away from getting a really attractive tie.”

Welling’s U18s began their Youth Cup campaign with an industrious 3-1 victory at K Sports in the preliminary round, before heading to Sevenoaks Town in the first-round qualifying where they dished out a 10-0 thrashing, a result which sets them up perfectly for their next cup test against Erith. 

“That result was coming,” explained Jeffreys. 

“In the first round, we played K Sports who just sat in and frustrated us, we had 90% possession and couldn’t break them down, but we got through and the lads put in the sort of performance we expected in the Sevenoaks game, so it was pleasing.”

Meanwhile, Jeffreys is hoping to see as much support as possible for the young Wings at Park View Road on Friday evening as the club prepare for a trio of cup fixtures this weekend, with the first team following suit with their trip to Weymouth on Saturday and the women’s team heading to Aylesford on Sunday. 

“We really appreciate as much support for the boys as possible,” he said. 

“Last year, we had a fantastic crowd for the two home games in the Youth Cup and it really made a difference having that support, so we’d encourage as many people to come down and get behind the boys.”

Entry for the game at Park View Road on Friday evening is priced at just £5 for adults, while kids go FREE.