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Dan Pringle - Crystal Palace

The Big Announcement

08/02/10 |

There is no getting away from what was announced at the Club last week. My phone didn’t stop all Tuesday night as friends and family tried to find out what was going on and to check if the administration would be affecting me.

I’m not in a position to talk about it but we have all been assured that we (Youth players) have no need to worry and that we are actually a big asset to the Club. While we aren’t worth a lot of money at the moment, we could be in the near future. A healthy Academy producing lots of players can only be attractive to a new buyer, and that’s exactly what is happening.

We have had a few meetings with Gary Issott, David Muir and David Moss about the situation and we are all fully aware of what’s going on. From a very selfish point of view for us Youth players, the administration isn’t as disastrous as it is for others associated with the Club. Where first team players will need to be sold, it will leave opportunities for us to step up to the first team. In our meeting with David Moss, we were all just told to be ready to step up and to take opportunities if they come our way.

I also read the message from Dougie Freedman on the Crystal Palace Supporters Trust website this week and agree with all that he said. Dougie is such a legend at this Football Club and is also a really nice and genuine guy. He clearly loves the Club and even though he’s now at Southend, I think it shows the mark of the man that he put out a message to the fans.

When we played in an Under 17’s friendly at Southend earlier in the season he stayed behind after his first team training to watch us play in the freezing cold. He coached me a few times last year as well when he was doing his coaching badge, and I can still remember clearly what he said to me. When someone like that offers you advice you’d be a fool not to take it on board.

Back to the football side of things, I am an honest guy and I’m not going to use my blog to spurt out clichéd garbage that a lot of sports people use. This isn’t me saying that I’m here to say stupid things to get me into trouble – that’s the last thing I want, but I say it how it is and I’m not going to write incorrect rubbish every week about how rosy things are when at times they are far from it.

It has been a very tough season for me so far with one thing or another, and recently it seems to have become very stale for me. Seeing others around you push on and be involved with the first team while you’re stuck sitting on the bench increasing the amount of splinters in your backside each week.

I am not here to upset anyone or have a moan – I was told to write an honest blog so people can see what an Apprentice goes through. I am a good player and want to be playing.

I’m a very modest person and try to talk about myself as little as possible, but I do think it’s time for a new attitude for me or an altered one at least. I am proud of the good attitude I show, but now it’s time to worry about number one. I have got such a fantastic opportunity and I don’t want to feel as if it’s being wasted.

The team has been doing well and we came away with a very good 2-0 win at home to Derby County in our last FA Youth Cup game. Hopefully those of you who came and have been reading my blog have now seen why I have been going on about Jonny Williams.

This was Jonny’s first start for the Youth team, so to come in to a new team at Selhurst Park against boys older and more physical than him, I thought was outstanding. He was blowing out his backside by the time he came off, but he played very well and surprised a lot of people who haven’t seen him before.

I also thought Jerry Nnamani led the team very well from the back and was our best player behind Jonny. Wilfred Zaha also had a very good game, and it’s of my personal opinion that it won’t be long before he is in the first team.

We now go to Hull City in the next round, which is being played on Wednesday night. We are travelling up on Tuesday and staying overnight to give us the best preparation possible. We’ll leave Beckenham at 10am before heading to Leicester where we’ll stop off to train.

Leicester City let us use their training ground, and it’s a good experience to train at another Club’s place for a change. Set pieces and tactics are on the agenda so that we are fully prepared for Hull. After training we’ll hit the road again, aiming to arrive in Doncaster for about 5pm.

We will be staying in Donny before making the hour trip to Hull for the game. It will be another good experience to stay over with the Club and experience what the first team do on a regular basis.

We’ll be leaving straight from the ground on Wednesday night after the game and won’t get back to Beckenham until about four in the morning.

The only disappointing thing about it is that we aren’t going to be playing at the KC Stadium, we will be playing in a local non-league ground. I have no idea why we aren’t allowed to play at the KC and do think it’s a shame.

Even from Hull’s own perspective, surely they would want their youngsters to gain some experience in playing at their stadium?

We must just look at it as another game though so maybe not playing at the KC is a good thing…