Eric Garcia says achieving FA Youth Cup final success with Manchester City against Liverpool tonight would set the seal on a dream season.
The hugely talented young Spanish central defender and his Academy colleagues play host to the Anfield side at the Academy Stadium in an eagerly-awaited one-off showdown.
For Garcia, the 2018/19 campaign has already been a season to remember with the 18-year-old making his first team debut for City last December as well as also being a key component in the side that lifted the Under-18 Premier League Cup last month.
Now comes the challenge of another huge showpiece occasion and Garcia says the incentive of helping City record what would only be our third FA Youth Cup success would set the seal on a campaign he will never forget.
“To be honest it has been an incredible season (personally),” says Garcia. “I had the opportunity to play for the first team on the summer tour to America, then to play for the Under-23s is always good and in December I made my debut against Leicester.
“So, to win the trophy would make it a really good end to the season.
“We have a special opportunity to win this trophy. We’ve played some difficult games with long journeys like going to Bournemouth and Clevedon.
“And I think in the last couple of rounds against Bournemouth and West Brom we played really well.
“Now we are really looking forward to the final. It’s always a special moment – and obviously playing Liverpool makes it even more special.”
Though City were finalists in three successive seasons between 2015 and 2017, the City youngsters haven’t tasted success in the competition since 2008.
And Garcia says that is a collective itch that the class of 2018 are eager to scratch.
“We know the FA Youth Cup is really important for the Club and for the country,” Garcia added.
“We have that extra motivation because the Club hasn’t won if for a long time now and we know we have a great opportunity as we are at home and it’s always a good for us and we are all really looking forward to it.
“We know the fans will come to support us and it will be really important for us.
“This competition started in October, November so it has been a long time, it’s a really important occasion for the whole squad as everyone has played his part in the run.
“We need to be focused on the game and played as we have in the run. Obviously, it’s a final and you might be a bit nervous as these types of games are extra-special, but I think if we play like we know we can we can win.”