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Browne’s A Trailblazer

Posted: Mon 13 Feb 2017
Author: @pnefc

Alan Browne want past 100 appearances for the Lilywhites on the final day of 2016.

Not a bad tally for a young man, who when he arrived from Cork in January 2014 was a relative unknown in the game. Three years on and he is foraging a route that has been well-trodden by Irishmen since and in fact will see more to come.

As part of a squad with six Irish players, plus Alan Kelly on the coaching staff, another in Charlie Lyons in the youth team, you might joke that next year the away kit might as well be green. And in the summer another Irish starlet, Adam O’Reilly, will join the Academy, following Alan from his junior club, Ringmahon Rangers, to Deepdale.

And speaking to The One And Only this week, Browne, now 21, is delighted that he was the first of many to follow across the Irish Sea to PR1.

“It seems like quite some time that I have been here and the more the merrier, just keep them coming really,” He joked to the matchday programme. “Each and every one of them have slotted right in and we have got a great group here so they just make it easy for players coming in. That’s why we found it so easy because the boys are great on and off the pitch.

“I think there is an established link there now, between Ireland and Preston. It’s good to have boys coming and seeing the young lads getting a chance because there are a lot of players back home that do go unnoticed.

“It’s good that Preston have brought some over and had a good look and seen enough to take a gamble on them, hopefully they can repay the club by doing well and eventually breaking into the first team.

“I think I probably made it easier for Adam [O’Reilly] knowing that I was here, obviously, I have talked in high regard for the club since I have been here. He found it easy to work with Preston and suggested Preston was the better move. I think he enjoyed it more than any other club he had been to because I spoke to him and he said ‘they are down to earth lads, it’s a great club’. The people behind the scenes do so much for you which really goes unnoticed.

“It’s easy to settle into and Adam is a great player and I’m sure we will really see him break into the first team. I’ve seen enough of him to know how good he is and the potential he has and hopefully he can keep grounded enough to fulfil that potential.”

We’ve just surpassed the three year anniversary of the North End No.8’s official arrival with the Lilywhites and reflecting on that period, the U21 international believes every year has seen him progress more and more.

“I think the [anniversary of his arrival] kind of springs up again, you don’t really take notice and then at the end of each season you look back and think ‘I’ve really progressed there and achieved what I set out to.’

“Each year has been a stepping stone, so much has been taken on board and learnt, on and off the field. It’s been a roller coaster and I am happy to be where I am today and I’ve come along a lot from since I first moved.

“I think I have found my position now. That was definitely something I had to look at when I first came over because at Cork City I was played left mid and upfront.

“For Ireland I played at right back a few times, so when I did come over I wasn’t sure where I would play, but I tried to cement a position.

“The gaffer has talked to me a lot and I think over the years he has had a look at me in various positions in midfield, defensive midfield then pushed forward and I think recently it’s been about my energy and box to box.

“I think that’s where the gaffer sees me, with his experience I will take that on board and wherever he thinks is best, I will put my trust in him. He knows what is best for me and I have gradually found my feet as a box to box midfielder.

“Different players have to work on different things because of their positions and I think individually the staff are great at knowing what you need to work on and the basics are for that position.

“If you establish the basics, then you’ve always for a chance. Obviously, then it’s up for you to go and express that and show a bit more at times.

“Tommo and Snods have really been a great help putting me aside here and there and telling me what I need to improve on and what I’m best at so it’s been great to have them around.”

There’s loads more from Browney in Tuesday’s edition of The One And Only, plus interviews and features with Darren Carter, Anders Lindegaard, Simon Makienok, Ben Pearson, Tom Barkhuizen and Marnick Vermjl.

There’s also all our regular features and plenty on our opponents and the programme will be on sale from Tuesday afternoon from the Sir Tom Finney Stand ticket office or from sellers inside and outside the ground on matchday.
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