Preston North End’s Academy side will play for a place in the quarter-final of the FA Youth Cup on Friday night, when they face Bury at Deepdale.
Lilywhites youth coach Andy Fensome spoke to iFollow PNE ahead of the game and talked about coming up against his former team-mate, Ryan Kidd, who will be part of the Shakers’ U18s coaching staff.
“I am sure he will be relishing the opportunity,” Fenners said. “We have played against Kidder’s teams for the last five, six or seven years and they are always tough games – it won’t be any different this time.
“We have had three games against them this season, which all finished as draws, apart from them beating us on a penalty shoot out, so I am expecting a tough game.
“We probably know each other a lot more [than previous opponents Charlton Athletic and Norwich City]. The players have come up and played against each other for the last five or six years, because of the Academy system, so it will be a tough game.
“This is going to be a completely different game – under the lights at Deepdale, the excitement of the game, the adrenaline that flows through the lads, meaning it is going to be a very different game and very tough.
“It is another opportunity for the lads to do well again.”
Having overcome Charlton Athletic on penalties before Christmas and then dispatching Category One side Norwich City in convincing fashion in PR1 last month, the former PNE full back thinks the youngsters should be full of confidence going into the last 16 tie.
“They should be going into it confident; the boys thoroughly deserved the win against Norwich, they executed the game plan really well, they deserved the accolades they have had since then and it is now about knuckling down and trying to get through to the next round.
“We haven’t mentioned any other game. We are just focusing on this game. The whole point of the scholarship is for the lads to focus on trying to get a professional contract.
“That doesn’t happen for everybody, but these are the games the lads all want to play in and want to do well in.
“It is a local derby; it is not too far away. I am sure Bury will bring a load of people. They have had to come through all the way from the first round, so it is a great achievement for them. They are a very tough team, well-organised and it should be a good game,” he added.
Entry at Deepdale for Friday’s 7pm kick-off is free of charge for season card/ticket holders of both clubs or £4 adults and £2 concessions for everyone else.
Alternatively, if you can’t make it to Deepdale, iFollow PNE will have live coverage of the game from 6.55pm, with Jonathan Breeze and Graeme Atkinson bringing live coverage from the Sir Tom Finney Stand gantry.