Manchester City U18s captain Joel Latibeaudiere has fired a warning to Stoke that his teammates will be gunning for them on Friday night.
The 17-year-old has led Lee Carsley’s City side to the regional Premier League title but believes there’s much more to come.
With the youngsters eager to go one further than City’s beaten finalists of the last two seasons, Latibeaudiere expects an inspired showing at the Academy Stadium.
He said: “I’m expecting us to win and send a message out that we’re here to win this competition. Hopefully there’ll be a big crowd to give us the momentum to keep our run going.
“As it’s at home we have to use that as an advantage. The first leg is always important in every tie and we want to take a lead to their stadium.”
Having already lifted one trophy, Latibeaudiere insists the spirit within the camp is a positive one.
"Winning the first trophy was obviously a goal but it’s always been a focus to win the other two. Now that the regional competition is done, we have to move on and look to both the nationals and the FA Youth Cup," said the captain.
"Team spirit is high, especially when we’re winning. If we keep going at this rate and progressing like we are then we can keep this winning feeling going."
Latibeaudiere will have to contend with the competition’s top scorer and former City striker Tyrese Campbell but he isn’t fazed.
“We’ve played with Tyrese before and we know the ins and outs of his game. As long as we play as a team, we’ll be able to work our magic and keep him out. If we can keep them quiet, we will have a great chance to win the game,” said the England youth international.
With such a deep, talented squad at the disposal of Carsley, the centre-back has acknowledged there will be some disappointments when the squad is announced. However, he’s called on every player to back their teammates.
He said: “Everyone’s part of the team, even the players that haven’t been involved in the earlier rounds have turned up to watch and this is really important to lift the spirit of the squad. We’re so together as a team.”
Kick-off between Manchester City and Stoke City in the FA Youth Cup semi-final is at 7pm on Friday 10 March. Follow live updates on Twitter at @ManCityAcademy or watch live on the club's official Facebook page.