A STRING of youth players are gearing up for their Worcester City first-team debuts tonight in the Worcestershire Senior Cup second round tie at Stourport Swifts (7.45).

Andy Preece is preparing to field a young side, if the low-priority clash survives the weather, rather than risk injury to his established names.

If the Walshes Meadow pitch passes the test, teenagers Dale Watkins, Ben Walker, Gary Walker, Troy Wood and Nat Bulmer, all regulars in City's successful youth team, will make their debuts against neighbours Swifts.

They look set to be joined by midfielder Sam Wedgbury, who at 16 has already proved a first-team sensation, starring in Worcester's FA Cup ties against Tonbridge Angels, Accrington Stanley and Chippenham Town.

'Keeper Lewis Skyers, defender Danny Hodnett, midfielders Liam McDonald and George Clegg and striker Jimmi-Lee Jones are likely to figure.

City's player-boss Preece, who has also named himself in tonight's squad, said: "If it goes ahead, we'll have a mixture of younger lads and first team players out there.

"We've got two more games coming up, on Saturday then Tuesday, and I don't want to lose any players to injury.

"The surface at Stourport might not be the best and there's no point risking players before the FA Trophy match.

"This is a good opportunity for quite a number of the young lads to make their debut. A lot of these lads have done well in the youth team and they've joined us on occasions in the first team squad, especially when we were short of numbers."

While Preece opts for an experimental outlook, struggling Swifts manager Roy Rencher will field a full-strength side.

Swifts are at the bottom of Southern League Division One West, seven points adrift of safety, and Rencher is yet to record his first victory as boss since taking charge in late September.

Rencher said: "I'm not experimenting with the team. We want to win every game at the moment. Priority number one is to stay in the league and Saturday's game with Burnham is much more important than Worcester City."

Kidderminster referee John Holbrook carried out a preliminary inspection of the Walshes Meadow pitch at 7.30pm last night.

Stourport officials were left hopeful that the game would go ahead and a further assessment will be made later today.