Preston North End Academy defender Lewis Earl scored his first youth team goal in his side’s FA Youth Cup fourth round victory over Norwich City at Deepdale.
And with the team returning to PR1 for their last 16 clash with Bury this Friday evening, he told iFollowPNE that the squad are looking forward to the challenge and the chance to try and reach the quarter-final for the second time in three years.
“We are all really looking forward to it,” said the first year scholar. “We are going into it with confidence after a good performance and a win against Norwich and hopefully we can do the job.
“We know plenty about each other. They are a good team. We are going to expect a tough game, but we will be ready for it.
“We all played well in the last round and gelled as a team, putting in a good performance to get us through that round against a good side and Bury will be a similar game, where we need to work for each other and play well.”
The younger of the two Earl brothers on the PNE books, 17-year-old Lewis is hoping to follow in his brother’s footsteps, by reaching the last eight of the competition, but is well aware that it will be a tough game.
However, he admits that the surroundings of Deepdale are an inspiration, as is the chance to push himself and try and reach the levels of elder brother and first team No.3, Josh.
“[His goal in round four] was my first goal for the youth team and it was a great feeling to score at Deepdale,” he continued. “I think Josh did score in the same round and hopefully we can go on to the quarter-final again.
“It would be good for the club to get to the quarter-final again, because that’s as far as we have got in recent years, but if we could go one step further than that, it would be good for us and something I can mention to him!
“But we can’t look further than this game. It is good playing at Deepdale, it is a great ground and pitch and the family can come and watch, but it would be great to get through and play Liverpool or Wigan.
“I kind of think, ‘if he can do it, so can I’ and I try and push myself to try and get where he is. He can help me do that, but I keep pushing myself to be the best I can be.”
If you can’t get to Deepdale for the game, iFollow PNE will have live coverage from 6.55pm, with Jonathan Breeze and Graeme Atkinson bringing live coverage from the Sir Tom Finney Stand gantry.
However, if you want to support the young Lilywhites in person, 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.