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Harrison Full Of Pride

28 February 2017

Academy boss Nick Harrison was proud of his players after a fantastic run in the FA Youth Cup.

Despite the run coming to an end against Stoke City on Monday night, the U18s manager was proud of his young squad after reaching the quarter-final stage of the competition. 

Speaking after the game against the Potters, Harrison said: "We are really proud of them, it's been a great achievement for the club and that's what we have said to them in the changing room. 

"The [first team] manager has come in and said the same, that they can hold their heads up high and be proud of what they have achieved. 

"They have come up against a really good team and given them a good game, obviously we are disappointed not to get through but we are really proud. 

Another positive from the cup run is the number of first-year scholars who have been involved, with six starting against Stoke. 

It has been a regular occurrence throughout the season, and Harrison is hoping the experience is beneficial for the future of the squad. 

"I think that's been a constant theme in all of the games. We've got a lot of young players in the group and this experience is going to stand them in good stead for next year and the years after that. I'm sure they will take that into next season.

As for the second years, the run in the competition has given them a chance to showcase their talent in front of the first team management on a more regular basis as they aim to earn a professional contract. 

"This is a hard time for the second years, they are all vying to get a professional contract and I'm sure they are all nervous about that but there are plenty of games to come. 

"We've got a semi-final in the Lancashire Cup in which they can make a name for themselves and get through to the final so there's lots more football for everybody.

For both groups though, Harrison feels that playing in front of over 1,700 at Deepdale can only be beneficial, giving the players a taste of what could be to come in their careers. 

"You could hear the crowd, it's fantastic for the players and that's what it's all about. 

"That is what they hope to achieve in their careers, playing in games with bigger crowds so it's a fantastic experience for them. 

"I hope they've got something from it and learnt from it and hopefully there are many more games like that for them in their careers to come." 

Hear more from Nick on PNE PlayerHD now by clicking on the video below. 

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