Preview: Donnelly Looking Forward to Final

Ciaran Donnelly is relishing the challenge of his side facing Oldham Athletic in the final of the FA Professional Youth Cup this evening.

The tie, to be played at Boundary Park, is a repeat of the 2014 final at Bloomfield Road when The Latics came away with the trophy after winning on penalties.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Donnelly told the official website. “We’ve waited a long time, since the start of December, so the lads have been itching for it and it’s a good target, especially for the players who were in the final two years ago when they beat us on penalties so we’ll be out to avenge that.

“It’s like the FA Youth Cup in the way that you get to play at a professional stadium at night with people watching and as a youth player they’re the kind of games that you really look forward to.”

The Oldham Athletic side will be managed by Tony Philliskirk, father of Blackpool striker Danny Philliskirk. The 51-year-old is someone Donnelly knows well.

“I’m sure it will be a good contest between two good teams playing the right way because we’ve known their coach Tony Philliskirk well for a long time and the way he sets his teams up.

“I know what kinds of teams he produces – they’ll be good players with a real good work ethic and a never say die attitude.”

To progress to the final, the youth team beat Bury 3-1 at Lower Gigg and then Rochdale on penalties at home, which was an entertaining back and forth match.

“We’ve done really well to get this far. When I think back to the quarter-final against Bury, who are probably the best team in the league, to go there and win 3-1 was great. It showed that we could mix it with the best teams.

“Then the tie against Rochdale was a really good cup tie. We won the penalty shoot-out, which is an epic way to win cup matches, so we’ve had an exciting run to get to the final and hopefully the final is as exciting as our run in the competition so far and we come back to Blackpool with a trophy.”

The game this evening kicks-off at 7pm and admission is priced at £5 for Adults and £3 for Concessions.

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