Preview: Donnelly Relishing Derby Fixture

Never a fixture that needs any introduction, Ciaran Donnelly is relishing the opportunity of seeing his youth side face Preston North End tomorrow.

The Seasiders’ Academy Manager says he enjoys the fanfare that surrounds the derby clash and can’t wait for the latest one.

“Being a local Blackpool lad I know all about the rivalry and having worked for the club for a long time I enjoy it,” Donnelly admitted.

“When the fixtures are announced I always look forward to when we’re playing Preston. Hopefully we can put a performance in and get a good result.”

Despite PNE being 13th in the table, Donnelly is taking no chances ahead of the 10.30am fixture at Myerscough College.

“It will be tough because they’ve been underachieving for the players I know they have, particularly earlier in the season, but recently they’ve been in good form.

“It’ll be a real tough test for us and we’ll be without some of our older players who are out on loan, so it’ll be a big ask for our lads to put a performance in.”

However, although respectful of the opposition, the Academy Manager remains confident in his side’s ability to get a result.

“We’re pushing at the top of the league – we’re in second place at the moment with a game in hand – so we’re probably still the team to beat going into the fixture.

“There’s always a bit more at stake in local derbies at any level – whether it’s the Under-9s or the first team.

“We’re all looking forward to it and we’ve got some good ‘derby-style’ players, so it’ll be a good spectacle to watch.”

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