AN influx of players from the youth section is standing Furness Cavaliers in good stead for the future ahead of tomorrow's West Lancashire League Challenge Cup semi-final.

The first team are currently in the lower half of Division Two – albeit with games in hand on teams above them – and the reserves are bottom of the Furness Premier League Premier Division, having struggled for numbers at times during the 2018/19 season.

But the next generation are now starting to make their way through at Rampside Road and first-team manager Marc McAloone sees a bright future for the club.

"Part of the reason both of our teams are struggling is we've struggled for numbers all season, but recently we've had a massive boost of under-16s coming through which hasn't happened for a long time," said McAloone.

"There are seven or eight signed on and I think seven played last weekend for the reserves, which means the first team can then pick the players they want to take.

"We always look to give young players a chance and they'll always play. What we find is at some point they want to test themselves at a higher level, which sometimes we as a club find hard to replace, but at the same time we respect players want to do that.

"There are some really good under-16 players in that group knocking on the door of the first team, so as the season goes on we'll see what happens and try to get some of them involved."

A 2-2 draw against Walney Island, who face Kendal United in the other Challenge Cup semi-final, has given Cavs plenty of confidence heading into tomorrow's last-four clash with Dalton United.

The sides drew 2-2 back in September and McAloone expects another close-fought contest at Longlands Park.

"It's a local derby and it's one of those games where it becomes anybody's game," said McAloone.

"There are some strong teams in our league and it showed on Saturday when Kendal went and beat (second-placed) Croston.

"That's the glory of this league – anyone can beat anyone and anyone can take points off anyone.

"We went to Walney last Saturday and were unlucky not to get more from the game, and we'll carry that form into Dalton."