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First Team News

Walker Becomes Youngest League Player For Lilywhites

2 January 2019

Last Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa saw debuts for youth team prospects Adam O’Reilly and Ethan Walker, who became the 33rd and 34th North Enders to make their first appearances before their 18th birthday.

And Preston-born winger Walker set a new record, becoming the youngest ever player to take the field in a league game for the Lilywhites, as 16 years and 156 days.
 
He is the third youngest player overall to play in a competitive game for the club, behind Brandon Zibaka (16 years and 116 days, against Charlton Athletic under Phil Brown in the League Cup second round in September 2011) and Doyle Middleton (16 years and 122 days, against Stockport County under Darren Ferguson in the League Cup first round in August 2010).
 
Whilst Cork-born O’Reilly is the 20th youngest to play for the club, at 17 years and 233 days, just behind the likes of Ben Davies and Alan Kelly Junior.
 
Of those, now 34, players, seven are goalkeepers, including current squad member Matt Hudson, who returns to Deepdale this week after six months out on loan at Bury.
Walker beats Stephen Doyle to becoming the youngest in a league clash, Doyle being 16 and 167 days when he played at against Tranmere Rovers at Prenton Park back in November 1974 in a division three clash.
Walker is also in good company as a Prestonian, with a number of those in the 34 being born here, including Nigel Jemson, Andrew Lonergan, Alan Kelly, Nigel Greenwood and Mark Lawrenson, to name just a few.
 
Adam, Ethan and Jack Baxter, who has also been on the bench in the last couple of games, could well be involved in the FA Cup at the weekend and more records could be set that day, should appearances be made.
 
They are also likely to be involved in the FA Youth Cup, with the young Lilywhites taking on Norwich City in the fourth round on Tuesday 22nd January, a 7pm kick-off at Deepdale – so, if you can, why not get down and support the boys.

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