Mixed Emotions For Head of Youth CoachingRichie Kyle says it was a bittersweet day for him on Saturday after three youth players turned out for the first-team, hours after his own side had slumped to a 4-0 loss away to Wrexham.
Henry Cameron and Dom Telford both started for Lee Clark's men at Bloomfield Road, while Mark Waddington was introduced in the second-half, and Kyle felt the trio should be as proud as he is of their own contribution, but could not hide his disappointment at the defeat to the Red Dragons.
"It's an incredible feeling to see Henry, Dom and Mark playing for the first-team, they can be very proud of themselves," he said.
"Everybody at the Academy should be singing from the rooftops about this achievement, producing players capable of performing for the first-team is what it's all about for us, to get one in is great work, but three? I can't think of another Championship club where that's happened this season.
"It's one thing to get them on, but to see them performing as well as they did was the most pleasing.
"I thought Henry was flying in the first-half, a real threat and Dom really came into his own in the second-half, he won the foul which led to the goal. Then to see Mark come on who's been struggling with an injury and look so accomplished was just the icing on the cake.
"I'm in constant contact with Lee, he knows the three are special and that between now and the end of the season they can help. It's sad in a sense for me as I doubt I'll be seeing that much more of them in my own team, but to see them playing at that level for this football club is just brilliant."
Despite his obvious joy on one hand, Kyle admitted the performance of his youth side had left a bitter taste in the mouth on a bad day at the office for The Seasiders.
"The result was probably a little harsh, but we were second best on the day and deserved to lose," he said.
"I thought Wrexham wanted it more and played the conditions better than we did. If you don't compete you don't have a chance, and we never did.
"At 2-0 down we get a penalty and miss it, that probably sums it all up. Heads then drop even further and we concede another two goals in as many minutes, that can't happen. This is such a young team at the moment and we need to pick ourselves up. There is clearly talent all over the field but they need to apply that better and show a bit more courage.
"They only have to look at the first team game against Brighton and see what being at this football club can lead to. There were three prime examples of what hard-work, determination, courage and ability can reward you with. I have confidence in this group."