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Youth Team

Blackburn Rovers U18 vs Preston North End U18 Preview

17 February 2020

The youth team are set for a short trip up to Ewood Park as they take on Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round of the FA Youth Cup.

It will be the first time that North End have played away from Deepdale in this season’s competition, although they were officially drawn as the away team against Oxford United in the last round before a change of venue due to adverse weather conditions.

The game will represent a tough test for Nick Harrison’s side, with Rovers’ academy holding Category One status.

Mike Sheron’s side have beaten Newport County and Charlton Athletic – who the Lilywhites defeated in round three last term – to reach this stage.

By winning their opening two matches in the cup against Oxford and Bristol City, North End have already matched their achievements of last season in reaching the fifth round.

They lost 2-0 to former PNE defender Ryan Kidd’s Bury to halt their progress in the competition on that day, the Shakers scoring two late second half goals at Deepdale.

The young Lilywhites have recently suffered back-to-back defeats in February, including a 3-1 defeat in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup to Rotherham United.

Prior to that, however, North End went on an impressive 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions, with 12 of those being wins.

Youth team coach Andy Fensome wants his side to put what they have learned in training into practice when they kick off tomorrow night.

He said: “They are Category One and they’ve always produced some good players. Tomorrow’s not going to be any different. It’s a really tough test for the players and hopefully they know what to expect.

“We’ve given them some information over the last few days and it’s important that they go and put it into practice. We’ve played against their under-17s earlier on in the season but we don’t necessarily get to play the categories that they’re in. They obviously play against good teams week in week out.

“They’ll be up for it and they know all about us as well, they come to watch us, so hopefully the two teams will put on a good show.”

And defender Lincoln McFayden is looking forward to the challenge of his first FA Youth Cup away clash, adding that the side is well prepared.

He said: “It’s going to be great playing in front of all those fans and it’s going to be a good atmosphere. There’s going to be a lot of people supporting us as well so hopefully we’re going to have a great game.

“Not many of us have had experiences like that so it’s going to be different. We’re going to have deal with it well but it’s going to make us even more ready for the game.

“We’ve gone through a couple of set plays that they’ve done and what we didn’t know to make sure we are alright with them. Obviously they’ve got a few good forward players who are strong and quick players, so we’ve covered all those places.”

Entry will be via cash turnstiles with entry priced at £4 for adults and £2 for concessions, for the 7pm kick off. PNE supporters have been allocated a section in the lower tier of the Jack Walker Stand, with North End fans situated to the side nearest the Brian Douglas Stand. If you plan to show your support, North End supporters should enter through turnstiles 'L'.

For those who are unable to attend, we will have full coverage of the game on the club’s social media channels, including on our Academy Twitter account, @pnefcacademy. Post-match reaction will follow on PNE.Com and iFollow PNE.


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