There has been a real sense of frustration over Preston’s youth output in recent times.
Sure, Ben Davies got his move to Liverpool after emerging through the ranks, but there has been a real lack of progression from Preston’s youth setup to the first team.
Tyrhys Dolan is the real concerning case, as he was released by North End last summer but has been in Blackburn’s first-team this season.
Rovers also signed Joe Nolan following his Preston release, and it feels like North End’s lack of an Under-23 or development squad is now hitting hard.
When it comes to development squads, two Preston-born lads have just had a great success. Sadly, it hasn’t come with North End.
Leeds United were crowned champions of Premier League 2 Division 2 on Friday night having beaten Aston Villa, with the Whites youngsters capping off a fine season.
Two players involved were born in Preston; defender Charlie Cresswell and winger Liam McCarron, with the former starting and latter coming off the bench in the win over Villa.
Both players look to have big futures, and sadly seem to have slipped through the Preston net for different reasons.
Defender Cresswell is the son of ex-Preston striker Richard Cresswell, so was born in Preston during his father’s time playing for North End. Cresswell ended up leaving Preston for Leeds in 2005, and having taken on a coaching role with the Whites, it’s no huge shock that the defender ended up with Leeds instead of North End.
As for McCarron, he moved to Appleby at a young age, meaning he left North End’s main catchment area. As a young lad featuring in Cumbria, Carlisle United were quick to get him snapped up.
Preston did land Davies from Barrow, but missing out may hurt a little. Hopefully North End can improve the youth output moving forward, but for now we just have to try and celebrate the accomplishments of talented young footballers who represent our city.