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East | "I'm delighted, it's something I've worked hard for"

Young midfielder on debut and kicking on

26 March 2019

Ryan East says he hopes to kick on as a Royal, after making his senior debut for the club prior to the international break.

On the evening he signed a new contract with the club, East started at the base of midfield for a very tough ask, trying to nullify title-challenging Leeds United at Madejski Stadium.

The 20-year-old has made more appearances than anyone else for our Under-23s over the course of the last two seasons, and is now training regularly with the first team.

Alongside the three other Academy debutants this season, East's name has now been inscribed on our Academy Honours Board, and he was presented with the framed shirt he wore on his debut, in front of his peers from the Academy.

On the presentation of his shirt, East said: "It was good - all of the players were in there and some had already made their debuts. It was good to be awarded the shirt along with Michael, it's something I've worked hard for and I'm delighted.

"Since I've been at the club, they've been supportive in every way from top to bottom. You almost come to expect this sort of gesture from the club because they're so good like that.

"My debut was a tough night. I'm not going to lie, Leeds were a top team so it's not an easy game to go into, but it's an experience I learned a lot from and I'm looking to kick on now.

"Training with the first team is sharper, more physical, but you adapt over time and you try to do that as quickly as possible - I think I'm getting there.

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"With the Under-23s' schedule, there's not as many games as the first team but there's enough to keep you ticking over. The U23s have set me up well, Scott Marshall has taught me a lot. It says a lot about how well the U23s have done over the last two seasons, especially this season, getting into a cup final the other night, that's all under him. It's been a pleasure to work under him.

"Training in the international break has been good - hard, to be fair. The manager's put us through it, it's been sharp, some of the players have gone away but the players that are left have been training well.

"We've had time to rest and recover, and come back fresh. It's good for the body, good for the mind to rest and then get back into it straight away.

"Playing more games is always the aim, not just for me but all the Academy lads. If there's an opportunity there, we've got to be ready to take it."

Preston North End
Sky Bet Championship

Preston North End

Saturday 30th March, 3pm (Madejski Stadium)

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