Preston North End’s futsal B team rounded off a successful debut season by winning the Football League Trust’s Futsal Education League Two championship.
A final day victory over Carlisle United ensured their title triumph, while the Club’s A team finished third in League One, behind champions Carlisle United and second place Blackburn Rovers.
Signing off as champions seemed highly unlikely back in September, however, as the team had accumulated just one point from their opening three matches.
The Lilywhites got off to the worst possible start with a heavy 6-2 defeat to an experienced Accrington Stanley. There was clear improvement in the second match, however, as Preston recorded a remarkable 6-6 draw with local rivals Blackburn Rovers.
Unfortunately North End were on the receiving end of a 2-1 defeat to league favourites Carlisle United in their next fixture. It would be the last time the Lilywhites would lose a game for the remainder of the season.
A great deal of hard work on the training ground began to pay off as the team’s fortunes started to turn around. In Preston’s last nine matches they recorded eight wins and one draw; the streak included three satisfying wins over rivals Blackpool.
Professional match analysis sessions with UCLan and training sessions from both England Futsal captain Steve Daley and North End defender Bailey Wright helped boost the squad’s morale and build momentum for a title charge.
The Lilywhites beat Accrington twice and battled to a hard-fought 6-5 victory over Carlisle to set up a winner-takes-all clash against the Cumbrians on the final day of the season.
Carlisle only needed a point to win the league, while Preston needed all three. The Cumbrians took an early lead but a quick-fire Jack Bolton double put North End in front.
Carlisle levelled the match with just 20 minutes to go but goals from Jonny Banks and Josh Tomlinson ensured Preston would bring home the title.
Congratulations to the team for all their hard work in what has proved to be a fantastic first season together.
There are still a few remaining places available for September’s futsal intake. The Club are looking to build on last season’s success by making a few more additions to their squad.
If you are aged 16-17, have a keen interest in football and would like the opportunity to represent Preston North End, then please contact the Club's community department via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01772 693312.
Course requirements: 5 GCSEs at A*-C including Maths and English