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Youth Team

Fenners Previews Northern Cup Final

21 March 2024

Youth Team

Fenners Previews Northern Cup Final

21 March 2024

Andy Fensome wants his players to experience the highs of reaching a cup final this weekend, but is well aware of the test his PNE U18s side will face.

The young Lilywhites are taking on Grimsby Town at Springfields in the northern final of the Youth Alliance Cup at 11.30am on Saturday, and the winner will set up a national final against Portsmouth, due to take place in April.

Having lifted the trophy two years ago, Fenners wants the current crop of youngsters to have a similar experience this time around.

He said: “We’ll be telling the players what they could get. There’s that carrot at the end of it.

A couple of years ago at Luton was a really special night for the players that played in it and last year the FA Youth Cup game at Luton away, so they’re good nights.

“They’re nice for the coaches to go back and experience things like that, but ultimately it’s about the players winning these games and having that feeling. That’s what we’re drilling into them. Winning a final, what it feels like and how you want to feel.

“You don’t want to be second place in a cup final so we’ll be putting all our efforts into them with wanting to get that winning feeling.”

The Academy have played a lot of games this campaign, having featured heavily in Central League matches and going well in the league and cups.

Coach Fenners feels all those experiences are helping his side learn the game more, and on Saturday comes another big occasion.

Grimsby Town arrive at Springfields with league title ambitions of their own, and they’ll also be desperate to progress themselves.

Asked how North End will get ready for the game, Fenners said: “Same as we approach most games to be perfectly honest. There’s not a lot that changes. We’ll concentrate on us to a massive point.

“Grimsby are halfway in their league but they’ve got games in hand and we know they’re a good side from the videos we’ve seen.

“They’ll be strong, they’ll be physical, and that’s what you expect in a cup final. You expect the game to be tough. The players will know what to expect, and hopefully we can perform on the day.”

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