Deepdale honours Preston North End's Under19s title-winning squad

Preston North End’s youth-team got a deserved ovation at Deepdale after an excellent season which could get even better.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 12:30 pm

At half-time of the first-team clash with Blackburn Rovers on Monday night, the Under-19s were presented with the North West Youth Alliance title trophy and their winners’ medals.

They did a lap of honour, lifting the mood of the crowd after a difficult first-half against Rovers.

It was a title the youngsters won with room to spare, with them clinching top spot in style a fortnight ago by beating Port Vale 8-1.

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Preston North End youth team do a lap of honour of Deepdale, with skipper Harry Nevin holding the trophy

Less than 24 hours later, a number of the Under-19s were on duty for the reserves against Fleetwood Town as North End won the Central League North title.

They won 3-2 at Poolfoot Farm, Harry Nevin and Mikey O’Neill (2) on target. Only a victory in their final game was enough for the title, PNE having trailed Fleetwood by two points going into the game.

Only three of the squad on duty in the reserves were not from the Under-19s, Tom Barkhuizen, Matthew Olosunde and Ethan Walker featuring.

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Preston North End's Under-19s parade the North West Alliance trophy at Deepdale

There is the opportunity for more silverware for North End’s talented group of youngsters before the season ends.

Next Tuesday night, they make the trip to Kenilworth Road to take on Luton Town in the national final of the Youth Alliance Cup.

They came through a group stage, before beating Burton Albion and Bolton Wanderers in knock-out games to reach the final.

There is also the Central League Cup final to contest, PNE beating Carlisle United 2-1 in the semi-final at Springfields last week.

They will face Burnley or Lincoln City in the final.

Some of the Under-19s are on a pathway to the first-team set-up.

O’Neill and Aaron Bennett have been offered professional contracts, with them having their scholarships extended for a further year while terms of their pro deals are sorted out.

Centre-half Nevin had a pro deal built into his scholarship when he joined from Cork City two years ago.

Earlier this season at the start of the second year of his scholarship, Lewis Leigh signed a professional deal.

Midfielder Leigh is currently sidelined after tearing ankle ligaments last month.

First-year scholars Josh Seary and Noah Mawene signed pro deals when they joined the club last summer.