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Big Step For PNE’s Futsal Pair

26 March 2015

Two of our futsal scholars proved that the sport can be a stepping stone towards bigger things a fortnight ago, when they were called up to North End’s Academy squad.

The two goalkeepers’, Jacob Pakeman and Lewis Westwell, were called in as replacements after a string of injuries and suspensions left Nick Harrison’s side without a goalkeeper and the pair were asked to step in for the league game against rivals Blackpool.

The pair have since been offered the chance to continue training with the Academy for the remainder of the season, an opportunity neither ‘keeper will take for granted.

Jacob was on the bench for the game against Blackpool and was delighted to have got the experience of being around the squad on a matchday and in training, alongside players who could one day pull on the North End shirt. 

“I was over the moon, I’ve not really had anything like that before so it was just a new experience and I was really happy with it.

“It was unbelievable to train with them, it’s like you come up through Sunday League, the quality wasn’t that good, and then stepping into the environment with up and coming players like that was just quality really.

“It’s a big step for me and for futsal, if I can do it anybody else can from any club. You know that if you do well in this sport then you can take the skills and qualities from here into eleven-a-side and into the Academy.”

It was also an experience that Lewis will be remembering for a long time, especially as he, alongside Jacob, will be continuing to train with the youth team this season and he was delighted that the opportunity came along,

“They had suffered and injury in training and a red card in the previous game, so the manager phoned Andy [head of community] and we were selected to go and train with Jack Cudworth, the goalkeeping coach, and we trained there for a couple of hours and he’s asked us to go down again.

“It was quality, you got a better insight into the game, and it helped us to train with them, and helped us with our futsal as well.”

 “The pace and the movement and everything in futsal is massive. When you play Sunday league it’s just slow and everyone is just trying to take each other on but when you’re on the pitch playing futsal, you recognise all about the fast passing, all the different movements, knowing that it’s just none stop all the time.

“I would tell people to play futsal at the minute rather than play eleven-a-side because it improves you so much as a player.”

The pair were also in action with the futsal teams on Wednesdat [25th March] with Jacob coming up against Blackpool while playing for PNE’s B team. The Lilywhites came out with a convincing 11-3 win over their local rivals, while Lewis was in goal for the A team’s 3-3 draw with Accrington Stanley.

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