Hamza Serrar: "I’m very proud of the boys"

U18s manager Hamza Serrar has expressed immense pride with his side’s showing against Brighton & Hove Albion in the FA Youth Cup, despite the young Addicks’ fifth round defeat.

Evan Ferguson gave the Seagulls an early lead before Andrew Moran doubled the visitors’ advantage early in the second-half, though the Addicks twice struck the woodwork through Tyreece Campbell and Daniel Kanu in what was an end-to-end game from start to finish.

“I’m very proud of their performance today,” Serrar told CharltonTV. “They weren’t fazed by anything; the occasion, the crowd.

“We’re playing against a category one academy, a Premier League club with far more resources than what we’ve got, but we’re Charlton so we always punch above our weight.

“It’s frustrating because they were beatable,” he added. “I thought we were in it. They didn’t dominate the game, but cup games are about who scores the goals, who takes the chances; they did, and we didn’t.

“If you look at the game, anything could have happened in terms of us scoring. I wish we would have scored a goal just to see how the dynamics of the game would have changed. It wasn’t meant to be but I’m very proud of the boys.

“Some of the second-years are really, really disappointed, but when you look at it Brighton had seven second-years starting tonight. We had seven first-years and a schoolboy, so we were very, very young but we still challenged. 

“So, next year, next season, with the squad that we’ve got, all these boys will have had the experience and I think we can push on and go further in this competition.”

1,066 supporters were in attendance at The Valley, making for a special occasion under the lights that Serrar admitted his players were relishing.

“There were over 1,000 here today and I want to thank all of them for giving us that support,” he said. 

“It’s massive. This is our first game at The Valley this season and all of my players were looking forward to it so much.”

Charlton fans can support the academy by signing up to the Valley Gold scheme. Valley Gold enables fans to support the clubs academy in unearthing the talents of tomorrow, as well as giving them the chance to win cash prizes.

Click here for more information on how you can become a Valley Gold member.

Article by Yannick Stay

(Photo: Tom West)

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