“It will be huge,” Quinn told Palace TV before the game, calling on fans to get behind the side on Saturday afternoon. “Obviously for them to develop and to grow, they need to experience playing in front of fans.
Under-18s manager Rob Quinn says the fans' support at Selhurst Park will be ‘huge’ for his players as they take on Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Youth Cup.
“At U18s level we don’t get that very often, so Saturday will be special in terms of recreating that, and getting proper fans – Palace fans – in the stadium to support the boys.”
Shaun Derry’s Under-23s side were promoted last season in the presence of a raucous home support at Selhurst, and Quinn is hoping for a similar impact this time around.
“It was amazing,” he remembers. “I went to those games, and the fans have obviously helped the boys. Speaking to a few of the boys and the staff, they really appreciated having the fans there making the noise for them, getting them over the line to get promoted.
“The boys, and us as well, we look forward to these games. In our home stadium – it’s nice to get a home tie. It will gradually build up in the next few days as the game gets closer.
“We’re focused on what we need to do to win the game.”
Quinn has come full circle to manage the youth side after progressing through the club’s Academy as a youngster – including appearing in the FA Youth Cup.
“I think we lost to West Ham,” he remembers. “I remember [Frank] Lampard was playing – he was a year or two younger – and possibly Rio [Ferdinand] at Plough Lane.
“My memories of the youth team were brilliant. We won the league in both my years. [I have] really good memories of winning the league in both years.
“When I was 14 or 15 and I first joined here, the lads got to the [FA Youth Cup] final against Manchester United. It was a really good group that one, and they were really unlucky not to win it.”
This is a breakthrough period for the Palace Academy, the opening of the brand new facility coming alongside the promotion of several youngsters to the first-team squad. After Jesurun Rak-Sakyi made his Premier League debut against Chelsea at the start of the season, Jack Wells-Morrison became the latest prospect to make the squad, being named on the bench against Millwall.
“For Jack and his family, I’m really pleased for him,” Quinn said of the 17-year-old midfielder, who has supported the club since childhood. “He’s been here a long time, he’s worked very hard and he’s gone through each age group progressing very nicely.
“Now he’s getting the rewards for his hard work, especially because he and his family are big Palace fans, and that kind of game means a lot to south London and to Palace.
“I’m pleased for them.”
Get behind the boys at Selhurst Park by buying tickets for the FA Youth Cup HERE.