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EFL Futures

Nottingham Forest: Youngsters shine in FA Cup

8 January 2018

Progression through to the Fourth Round of the FA Cup – whilst eliminating Arsenal at the Third Round stage of the competition for the first time during Arsene Wenger’s 21-year reign – made it a weekend to remember for Nottingham Forest.

Seven players under the age of 23 featured for Forest, with 18-year old Ben Brereton the standout performer for the side watched over by Gary Brazil.

The forward picked up the LFE Sky Bet Championship Apprentice of the Year accolade at the EFL Awards last season and continued his impressive rise through the ranks, calmly scoring from the penalty spot during the 4-2 victory against the Gunners.

Eric Lichaj scored an unlikely brace, whilst Kieran Dowell added another spot-kick to confirm their place in the draw alongside the likes of Newport County and Coventry City, who also knocked out higher opposition.

A firm believer in the progression of youth, Forest are flying high in terms of players that are EFL Futures qualified. Launched in 2016, EFL Futures is a financial incentive scheme that rewards EFL clubs for introducing young English players into their starting line-ups.

So far this season, Nottingham Forest have handed 44 starts to players who qualify for the EFL Futures programme, the highest in the Sky Bet Championship and the third highest across all 72 EFL clubs.

Joe Worrall, Matty Cash, and Tyler Walker, alongside Brereton, were among those who featured against Arsenal who also qualify for the EFL Futures incentive when competing in an EFL competition, highlighting the talent coming through the academy system at the City Ground.

All eyes will now turn to Monday night's FA Cup Fourth Round draw that will take place before the Amex Stadium clash between Brighton and Crystal Palace, with Forest, alongside 25 other EFL clubs – subject to Third Round replays – learning their reward for progression.

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