Gareth Taylor has urged his Under 18 players to take inspiration from the shining example of Phil Foden as City prepare for Tuesday night’s Premier League Under 18 Cup final at home to Stoke (7.45pm).

The City youngsters will step out at the Academy Stadium seeking to successfully defend the trophy we secured last March in what promises to be a closely fought encounter.

Top of the table in the Under 18 Premier League North and with many of the players also part of the squad which has reached the FA Youth Cup semi-finals, its shaping up to be a season to remember for Taylor and his players.

And if the squad needed any extra inspiration ahead of Tuesday night’s game, the manager pointed to the formidable exploits of Academy graduate Phil Foden, who produced a man of the match display in our recent Carabao Cup final triumph against Aston Villa.

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“As was the case last season, the first team success feeds through to us – especially when Phil plays as well as he did at Wembley,” said the Under 18s’ boss.

“Listening to the manager’s (Pep Guardiola's) comments on Phil, you know that he’s always going to improve.

“I’ve said this to the players that he’s always going to improve as Phil’s mentality is top.

WATCH: City U18s eyes on the PL Cup prize

“He works incredibly hard as do all those lads who have got through (to the first team sqaud) and I put Eric (Garcia) in that category too. They are humble lads and they want to improve and to get better.

“They don’t get into the first team squad and go on easy street and Pep wouldn’t allow that to happen – it’s great.

“So what an example to have for our lads and hopefully we can emulate the first team in winning a trophy.”

Tuesday’s final promises to be an entertaining and vibrant encounter with Stoke enjoying a fine campaign of their own.

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Whilst anticipating the toughest of tests, Taylor also believes lifting some silverware would be a fitting and tangible reward for the way his young charges have gone about their business this term.

“It will be a tough game as Stoke are no mugs. They are doing really well in the league this season, they are a very physical side and they beat a very good Chelsea side in the semi-final,” Taylor warned.

“The squad will also change slightly for the final from our FA Youth Cup group, which gives other players an opportunity.

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“We obviously want to be successful and to retain our crown and it's nice to be home here at the Academy Stadium.

“It was a great experience for those lads who played in our Under 18 PL Cup final win at Middlesbrough last season.

“A final is a great achievement for those lads, and they deserve it as they have shown this season some real high energy and quality performances.

“There is a bit more on it as it is win or bust.

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“Now it really is the business end of the season. We’re keeping working hard on the training field and are ready for the big push starting against Stoke.”

Tickets are still available for the final HERE.

City’s Under 18 Premier League Cup final against Stoke will be also available to watch live on our CITY+ channel.

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