TRENT Mahorn admits he and his team-mates are excited about this evening’s FA Youth Cup tie at Mansfield, although they will do their best to treat it as any other game.
The competition dates back to the 1950s but its popularity and profile has really grown over the last 20 years.
Paul Furlong’s youngsters will kick off at One Call Stadium at 7pm tonight (Monday), and Mahorn told www.qpr.co.uk: “We are all really excited about this game.
“We have been working hard all week and can’t wait. This is a really challenging competition and we just want to put everything we can into it and see how far we can go.
“I don’t like to think of it as a different game to any other but we all know that it is a bit different – there’s a lot of excitement around this one.
“But we have to prepare for it and approach it like we would any other, we can’t over-think it.”
Mahorn, 18, joined the R’s as a 13-year-old and the defender is pleased with his development in that time, particularly under the guidance of Under 18s boss Furlong.
“My time at the club has helped me so much,” he explained.
“When we play games the targets are very individual-based. It’s a team game but you also have to focus on your own job and your own targets.
“Paul Furlong has helped me so much.
“He brought me into the Under 18s a year earlier and got me to play up an age group, which was great for me. I know he has trust in me which means a lot.”
Mahorn and his team-mates know should they be victorious against the Stags tonight they will play the fourth round at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, taking on either Curzon Ashton or Burnley.
With the carrot of playing in W12 dangled in front of them, Mahorn admits it has provided an extra motivation to progress.
“That is a massive incentive for us, 100 per cent,” he said with a smile. “We are all really excited at the prospect of playing at our stadium.”
Mahorn was talking at a QPR Trust event at Botwell Leisure Centre in Hayes, where he took part in a community session and answered questions from young, aspiring footballers.
“It is so important to be part of something like this, coming out into the community and speaking with the kids, answering their questions and having fun with them,” Mahorn added.
“I am not much older than the kids here and hopefully they can see me and it gives them belief with what they are looking to achieve.”