The lack of football at the moment is frustrating, with so many of us desperate to watch any sort of action. Re-runs of classic games on television are proving to be the highlight of the week. England’s World Cup games against Colombia from 2018 and Argentina in 2002 were particularly enjoyable at the weekend, I have to say.

With no North End games to cover the usual ‘5 Things’, I have highlighted 5 things that you may have missed this week, including memorable moments in our history, and new podcasts from ourselves here at From the Finney. Enjoy!

11 Years Since…

3rd May 2009 is a day that should be memorable for North End fans for all the right reasons. It was the final day of the season and after 3 wins in a row Alan Irvine’s side had given themselves a chance of sneaking into the play-offs. We needed a win and for Sheffield Wednesday to beat Cardiff City.

We were playing Gareth Ainsworth’s Queens Park Rangers side who had former Lilywhite Patrick Agyemang up-front. After he’d equalised for Rangers, it wasn’t looking good for us. However, news quickly spread around Deepdale that Jermaine Johnson had given Wednesday the lead at Hillsborough.

The noise that rippled around Deepdale after that is something I’ll never forget. Within 4 minutes, Jon Parkin took an enormous throw-in, which led to Sean St Ledger heading in what proved to be the winning goal that we needed.

After a tense final few minutes which included Darren Carter clearing the ball off the line, a pitch invasion ensued and it was confirmed that we were in the play-offs.

The club covered the day very well on Twitter, with highlights of that game and many others too from that season. It’s certainly been enjoyable to watch.

Players Reminiscing

Following on from the above, the club managed to group a few players together to discuss all the high and lows from that 2008-09 season. Jon Parkin, Chris Brown, Youl Mawene, Neil Mellor, Paul McKenna, Sean St Ledger and Andy Lonergan were all brought back together via a Zoom call to talk about that season 11 years on.

It’s a thoroughly enjoyable watch with Parkin not holding back in dishing out some light-hearted criticism of his former teammates. He does go on to say it was one of the best times of his career. Catch their chat here as well as our three-part podcast with the Beast himself here – part 1, part 2 and part 3.

2 Games from the Premier League?

Many different options have been discussed and thrown around about how to end the current season amidst the current COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no right answer, and no answer will please everyone but, we have to tip our hats to all of the frontline workers in the NHS, shops, social workers in schools and elsewhere and any other frontline staff that we may have missed. You’re all doing an incredible job.

The latest surrounding football to be discussed, as revealed by The Guardian would see Leeds and West Bromwich Albion going up automatically, with the four teams currently occupying the play-off spots playing each other in one-off games. A one-legged semi-final at a neutral venue, and then a final also at a neutral location.

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It would mean we would face Fulham, and would possibly only be 2 games away from reaching the Premier League. An opportunity many North End fans would take at this stage I suspect, but imagine how annoying it would be if we did finally reach the promised land and none of us would be there to see it.

I’ve been waiting my whole life for it and it would be an anti-climax. As the boys said in the PNE 20 Question Quizcast that was released today, it would be typical North End.

From the Finney Meets… Will Hayhurst

The latest from the From the Finney podcast was released this week with former tricky left-winger Will Hayhurst speaking to Jake. Give it a listen on all your usual streaming platforms when you can.

Will was highly rated coming through our ranks but suffered a couple of bad injuries. He did enjoy a decent spell in the side under Graham Westley and then Simon Grayson, scoring in the latter’s first three games in charge of the side before ultimately falling out of love with the game and retiring from professional football at just 23 years old.

There are plenty more interesting podcasts on the way, we have a couple more 20 Question Quizcasts coming your way, including one with the co-hosts of the Undr the Cosh podcast, Jon Parkin and Chris Brown as well as one with football finance expert, Kieran Maguire. Make sure you keep an eye on our social media for more updates. We’re on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Phil Brown x From the Finney

Following on from his podcast with Jake, former manager Phil Brown wrote his first piece for the website.

It’s an eye-opening look at our preparations for our first season in League One following relegation. Phil took the squad to Arbroath to put them through their paces with an SAS training camp.

He said it brought the squad a lot closer together, and it is an interesting read, but not something I would be keen to do myself! Have a read of it here. You can also listen to From the Finney Meets… Phil Brown in which he talks about his failed attempt to sign the current leading goal scorer in the Premier League, Jamie Vardy.

Finally, thank you for reading and from the team here at From the Finney, stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. If you’re in need of someone different to talk to in these unprecedented times, our DMs on social media are always open or you can email us on – fromthefinney@gmail.com.