Preston North End U18 host Bristol City U18 as FA Youth Cup third round action returns to Deepdale on Monday.
It’s the young Lilywhites fourth consecutive FA Youth Cup match at home after reaching the fifth round last term. Three seasons ago, North End’s youngsters enjoyed their best run in the competition for 60 years by reaching the quarter-finals.
In Bristol City U18, a Category Two Academy team stands in North End’s way of the next round of the FA Youth Cup.
But Academy manager Nick Harrison says his players can get the boost they need from playing in front of a home crowd at Deepdale.
“When we play at Deepdale the fans come in their numbers,” he said. “Also in the past we’ve had first-team players there, first-team management staff, the manager and senior staff at the club.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our young players to play in front of those people and that’s ultimately what they want to do throughout their careers - it’s going to be a really good opportunity for them.”
North End’s youngsters are coming into the third round of the FA Youth Cup on a five-game winning run - scoring 19 goals and conceding just four - while they also remain unbeaten since September.
Monday’s visitors - who are managed by former Premier League defender Trevor Challis - lost their recent GFA Senior Challenge Cup against Cirencester Town, but have won their last three games in the U18 Professional Development League.
Even up against a Category Two Academy team in Bristol City, midfielder Tyrhys Dolan says North End’s youngsters can take confidence from their good form as they prepare to walk out at Deepdale.
“We’ve all been looking forward to it and preparing for it because this is a big game on a big stage,” he said. “We’ve got to turn up, it’s a must-win game and we’ve prepared really well for the game and we’re in really good spirits.
“It’s so exciting because Deepdale is where we aim to play week in, week out in years to come. It will be good to go there to try to get a win and put on a good performance.”
You can read the full pre-match interviews from Nick and Tyrhys in our free edition of The One And Only, which will be available around the ground before kick-off.
Tickets for the game against Bristol City U18 will be available at just £4 for adults and £2 for concessions. Season ticket holders from both clubs can get free entry upon showing a valid 2019/20 season card/ticket at the turnstiles.
For anyone unable to attend, we will have coverage on the club’s social media channels, including on our Academy Twitter account, @pnefcacademy, with post-match reaction to follow overnight on PNE.Com and iFollow PNE.
The game will also be shown live with commentary on iFollow PNE, you can sign up here found here.