Stephen Dobbie reacts to Blackpool's development squad claiming the Central League Cup

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Stephen Dobbie admits he took a lot of pride from watching Blackpool’s development squad cap off an impressive season with a piece of silverware.
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The 40-year-old was in charge of the Under-23s prior to being temporarily promoted to interim boss of the first-team.

In his absence, former teammate Neal Eardley oversaw the club’s Central League Cup final against Wigan Athletic, which the Seasiders edged thanks to penalty kicks after playing out a goalless draw at Bloomfield Road.

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It comes after the development squad finished second in the league under Dobbie’s tutelage.

Dobbie, who was in the stands for last week’s cup final triumph, said: “It was a fantastic end to the season.

“You work every day on the training field with them, some of them go out on loan so on some days you might have four players or five players and those days are tough for the players.

“Not for myself because I’ll coach them regardless of if I have two players or 22 players, so I was buzzing at the end to see them lift the trophy. It was a good end to the season for them.

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Dobbie watched on from the stands as his old development squad picked up a trophyDobbie watched on from the stands as his old development squad picked up a trophy
Dobbie watched on from the stands as his old development squad picked up a trophy

“When you start the season, it’s about who you can get to the first-team or who you can get out on loan and have a good loan. Who can we progress who possibly doesn’t need a loan but we can still see the progression?

“But as you come closer to the end you start to see the trophy so it’s only natural the players and coaching staff want to win it. But the players especially, because the kids have been fantastic this season.

“I’m very happy and very proud of them. I’ve got a great connection with all of them which has grown over the season, because they’re my lads, so I’m absolutely over the moon for them.”

It was also a great experience for the youngsters to play on the Bloomfield Road surface in front of a crowd housed in the West Stand.

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“The fans were great, I think there were 850 and when Harvey Bardsley saved the penalty you heard the roar,” Dobbie added.

“It shows the fans even come out to support the development squad and the Under-18s have got a big game as well on Friday, so hopefully some of the fans will be there to see that and hopefully they’ll be able to lift the trophy.

“It’s great for the academy because we want to be producing players but also fighting on all fronts for trophies as well.”