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Thompson Impressed By PNE Youngsters

3 August 2016

First team coach Steve Thompson was impressed by the youth team players who featured in last night's win over Lancaster City.

There were nine first team players in the starting Xl, with first year scholar Lewis Fensome and second year scholar Dylan Davidson completing the line up for North End. 

The evening was beneficial for all involved with the senior pros getting additional minutes ahead of the new season, as well as some worthwhile experience for the youngsters. 

Seven scholars came into the fold during the second half, and all nine involved impressed the coaches. Davidson and Fensome combined for the opening goal as Fensome headed home Davidson's cross, and substitute Josh Earl made an immediate impact by providing the cross for Simon Makienok's first goal in a PNE shirt.

The scholars were involved again for the third, as five youngsters combined with just a minute to play for Melle Muelensteen to complete the scoring on the night. 

Speaking of the experience for the young players, Thompson said: It's great for the young lads to watch what the first team do, how we do things and how we prepare for matches. They've come on and done themselves proud and every credit to Nick [Harrison] and Fenners [Andy Fensome]. 

"It's something to look forward to because hopefully we can push these lads on to the first team. 

"It's a great experience for them, and the way the first team lads spoke and the way the controlled themselves with the young lads on the pitch it gives them that confidence and they enjoyed it and you can tell they are all desperate to get off the bench. 

"They play it in the right way, they pass the ball, they understand their roles and responsibilities and we had no hestitation in bringing them on.

"The way they handled the ball, the way they bounced it off each other, it was a credit.

"The young lads know their roles and responsibilities so we didn't have to say too much to them. 

"Further down the line, the manager will have no hesitation in drafting in these young lads to train with the first team. I think that would be a great experience as well."

Thompson was also pleased the game served it's purpose in giving the first team players the minutes they needed, and was happy they came through the final pre-season game with no injuries. 

"It was a good workout, we can't replicate 90 minutes in training so it was good to give the lads who have had little niggles just under 90 minutes tonight. 

"The important thing is we've come through with no injuries, we've got the minutes for the lads who needed them and it was a good work out for us.

"It was a good workout, Lancaster played it in the right spirit and there were no nasty tackles or anything like that and it's good. 

"The good thing is the senior members have come through and we can put them into the manager's plans now. 

"It's a good workout all round, the young lads have come out with a lot of credit and the first team lads have got the minutes and played it in the spirit that it should have been played in."

On Makienok's first goal for the Club, Thompson was pleased the striker has got off the mark, and was happy with the partnership between the Danish forward and Jordan Hugill. 

"He's a fantastic presence in both boxes, defensively as well and we mentioned in the first half that if you put quality crosses in, him and Jordan will be able to get on the end of them.

"Jordan's work rate gives defenders plenty of problems and we've got to make sure we play to Simon's strenghts as well and get quality crosses in and hopefully he can get on the end of things."

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