Preston North End’s youth team bowed out of the FA Youth Cup at the fifth round stage, losing 2-0 to Bury, but after the game attacking-midfielder Tyrhys Dolan said the side had learnt from the experience.
Speaking to iFollow PNE, he said the chance to play at the club’s home ground three times had been big thing for the group and given them something to try and achieve on a regular basis.
“It is always exciting knowing that you have all your family and your friends down to support and I thought in the first two games we played [in the competition] our performances were fantastic, but our performance let us down – it wasn’t at its best, as it has been,” said the 17-year-old.
“This is where you aspire to be [Deepdale], where you aspire to play when you get up and around the first team, so it is nervous playing there, but they are good nerves, because you know that if you play well, hopefully you might get that chance to make your debut, or be in and around the first team.”
That has already happened for Tyrhys’ team-mates Adam O’Reilly and Ethan Walker, whilst he and others have been involved with the first team in reserve games, something he believes is a real learning opportunity.
“Congratulations to them [Adam and Ethan]. We see that as motivation to kick on think that he has come from the same team; we do the same training, so if they can do it, we can do it.
“It is good we are getting in around it, getting a sniff of first team standards, knowing that they are our role models, so whatever they do, we need to try and copy that and show what we can do and get in around it.”
On the loss to the Shakers, the diminutive former Manchester City Academy man, thought his side didn’t reach the standards of the previous round, but many of the group will have another chance to taste the FA Youth Cup again next season.
“I believe that going out there, they wanted it more and that first goal set us back massively. It set us back, when really it should have flipped it and we should have used it as motivation to get back into it.
“They tried to shut us down, even man marking us or closing down on one player, but we should have recognised that and seen there was space in other areas and tried to exploit that.
“It is a young squad. Normally the starting XIs are mainly second years, but we had a lot of first years and we had Lewis Coulton stepping up from the U16s and getting the feel of the FA Youth Cup,” he added.