Charlie Lyons has made a near perfect start to life with Preston North End’s U18s in the last week.
The Irish defender made his Lilywhites debut in the FA Youth Cup fifth-round extra-time win against AFC Wimbledon and was involved from the start once again as Nick Harrison’s men earned a comfortable 3-0 away win against Port Vale on Saturday.
“It’s always good to get three points because we’ve not been used to winning in the league,” explained the 16-year-old, who was making his first appearance in the North West Youth Alliance after signing for PNE last month.
“It’s good to get a start and get some minutes, the lads played well and we defended well. It’s good to keep a clean sheet as well.
Lyons, formerly of Irish outfit Inishvilla, had been training with PNE since early November but has been kept out of the side while waiting for international clearance.
Despite that, he has impressed in defence and even lasted the whole 120 minutes in that FA Youth Cup tie against Wimbledon, but Lyons admitted that the style of football is more demanding in England.
He added: “I hadn’t played in a big stadium like that before and I was delighted to get that trust in me to start my first game, so I was obviously happy to start and to get the win as well.
“The intensity is much higher over here and you’re running for 90 minutes, it’s harder on the legs and the talent is better over here.
“It was good to get a feel of U18 football and hopefully I can take it from there.”
Lyons was replaced by Cameron Day in the 76th minute of the Port Vale victory and believed the result could help the side in the coming weeks.
He said: “We’re just trying to build up some momentum now going into the next round of the FA Youth Cup – get a few wins under us playing well and see what we can do against Stoke City.”