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Youth Team

Reaction From North End’s Youth Alliance Cup Champions

10 April 2024

Youth Team

Reaction From North End’s Youth Alliance Cup Champions

10 April 2024

After lifting the Youth Alliance Cup trophy at Fratton Park, the Preston North End players and management gave their reaction to the victory.

North End made the long journey down to Portsmouth for one, if not the biggest game of each one of their careers to date.

There were no nerves on show, though, in the opening stages as Theo Carroll gave his side an early lead, and after being pegged back to 1-1, goals from Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile and Troy Tarry all but sealed the win before the break.

Despite the performance not being quite at the level desired, coach John Welsh was delighted to be taking the trophy back up north.

“We’ve got some good players with good quality,” he said. “If we were strong and defended well we had an idea that we could go on and hurt them in areas and I thought we did that.

“We defended our box well. Individuals were dependable on the night which is important in big games like that and we managed to win.

“It’s something we can say about the group that they are dependable. They show great mentality, good character throughout the group, and it wasn’t the best performance but a win’s a win.”

Andy Fensome also shared in Welshy’s praise of the team, and he admitted he’s had belief throughout the whole of the competition that they could come out on top.

“That’s why you enter cup competitions,” he said. “That’s what you want to do when you get to a final.

“We said we want to win it all the way along, so to come here to play under lights at a different ground, and to go and win it at the end of the night is fantastic. It’s a better trip home now!”

With North End also currently sat top of the league standings, the double – which the Lilywhites achieved in the 2021/22 campaign – is now an even greater possibility.

There’s still work to be done as far as that’s concerned, though, and captain Max Wilson is hoping they can get it over the line.

He said: “That would top the season off after it’s been a long season. We’ve fought hard all the way through.

“Everyone’s put a shift in every week. We’ve had the downs where we’ve lost and we’ve bounced back in games where we’ve been 1-0 down and come back to win. It’s been a very good season overall.”

It’ll be a quick turnaround for the lads after the long journey back from Fratton Park to return for a huge Lancashire derby against Blackpool, with plenty on the line.

Goalscorer Rodriguez-Gentile added: “We’ll celebrate today but tomorrow is a new day and we’ll just forget about this and focus on the next game which is a league game.

“So Saturday, we’ll be back on it, looking to win and hopefully we’ll get the league as well.”

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