Rotherham United’s Academy have been drawn away against Middlesbrough in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup.
The Millers’ youngsters will travel to Teesside to face Boro, who boast a Category 1 Academy, in what will be their first involvement in this year’s competition, with the date and time of the game still to be confirmed.
This will be the second consecutive season that the club has been drawn against Premier League opposition, after they faced Tottenham Hotspur at the same stage in 2015/16.
Academy manager Garreth Barker was excited by the prospect of locking horns with top tier opposition but admitted that he would have welcomed a home draw for his side.
“It’s always nice to draw one of the bigger Academies and bigger clubs and there aren’t many in the country as productive as Middlesbrough,” he told www.themillers.co.uk.
“There are no easy games at any standard of football but we would have liked a home tie to give some of our youngsters the opportunity to play a competitive game at AESSEAL New York Stadium.
“We’ve got lads here who played away in this competition last year against Tottenham and potentially might not get the chance to play here.”
However, the Millers’ youngsters will be able to call upon experience from a recent fixture against Boro, although Barker admits current loanee Dael Fry’s involvement with the first team is a clear indication of the quality at the Teessiders’ disposal.
“We played them around eight weeks ago in a friendly game at their training ground and we saw on the day then that they have some very good players,” he added,
“Everybody in Academy football knows they’re a very tough opponent but we’re looking forward to the game.
“It will be a very difficult game but we’ll prepare as we do and try not to overhype it.
“The fact that Dael is an Academy product there and is currently playing in the first team at Rotherham United speaks volumes about the standard of players they have produced."