Youth team manager Nick Harrison is looking forward to the challenge of facing Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Youth Cup and the opportunity it will present to his players.
The young Lilywhites were drawn to face Spurs away in Friday’s third round draw, with the tie set to be played at Stevenage’s Broadhall Way Stadium before Saturday 16th December.
North End had their best run in this competition for 60 years last season, beating Everton on route to the quarter-final where they lost against Stoke City, and Harrison hopes that experience of facing Premier League opposition will give his players a boost ahead of this test.
“The players and staff are seeing it as a great opportunity to play against one of the big boys which we did twice in the FA Youth Cup last season, winning one and losing the other," he told PNE.com.
“We will prepare as hard as we can to go down to Tottenham and try to compete with them, and that’s all we can ask of the players.
“I think last year’s run in the FA Youth Cup will be a massive benefit because a lot of the players who we have now played in that run.
“We had quite a young team last year so they’ve experienced what it’s like to play in a stadium and play in a really competitive game, so that’s what we’re going to expect when we face Tottenham.”
Harrison hopes his players can make an impact in the game against a side with a strong tradition of developing young players.
“Tottenham have got some fantastic players who are really at the highest level of their game. They are a club that produce players, as are we, with a number of academy graduates in the first team at the moment.
“The players are going to relish playing against the very best players at this level, not just in this country but in the world, and our boys are going to have to be ready for it and make sure that they work hard in the game.
“We want to make sure that we prepare the players so they understand what they need to do and then it will be down to them to go and compete and make an impact.
“It’s their opportunity to put on a performance and make an impact which may stand them in good stead for their future careers.”