Academy Manager Delighted With Youth Mentality
Ciaran Donnelly was delighted with his side’s character as they won 3-2 in a fiercely contested derby against Preston North End.
It was a tough win for Blackpool, who mounted a late comeback after being 2-1 down in the second half.
Speaking post-match, here's what the academy manager had to say...
The team’s mentality
They stuck in there because it was tough, especially because we’ve lost some our strongest players to go out on loan for the experience of men’s football. They easily could have crumbled when they went 2-1 down, but instead they dug in and we deserved the victory in the end.
An end to end game
It was certainly an entertaining game. The first-half it was like both teams didn’t stick to the game plan and go out and win the game. It could have been 10-10 at half-time.
It’s a big step up from Under-16s to Under-18s because you’re stepping up two years in a lot of cases. Tom Williams did fine at centre-half and had a good go. Sam Maddox came on at half-time and really grabbed his chance because he was on the front foot, made good decisions and tackled, so we’re over the moon with Sam’s performance.
He had a great experience midweek with the first-team and sometimes lads can come back and think they’ve made it, but Rowan put in probably his best performance of the season. He worked tirelessly for the team, he had quality and motivated others as the captain.
We’ve been excited since last year when we had a group of Under-16s that were pushing on and showing huge signs of developing at a good level who are now first years this season. Most of them are regulars in the team and contributed – Dylan Sumner and Ben Jacobson have had a good first half of the season and Jack Newton has been terrific in a number of positions.