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Jeff Excited By Competition

2 July 2013

While most people could be forgiven for being discouraged by a new arrival trying to take their place in the side, PNE winger Monakana is relishing getting to know Chris Humphrey.

Humphrey, a summer acquisition from SPL side Motherwell, will battle it out with fellow wide men Lee Holmes, Will Hayhurst and Monakana for a place in Simon Grayson’s starting eleven, but rather than fearing the competition, the PNE No.17 is looking forward to learning from his teammates.

“I have seen him out there and he is looking like a right good spark, he scored a good goal in training and he can only help me get better,” said Monakana, in an exclusive interview with PNE.Com when asked about Humphrey.

“It is always good to have competition; he looks like a great player and hopefully he can go on to have a great season.

“He has done quite a lot in the game and I am always going to be asking him for advice, Lee Holmes for advice, a lot of my peers, I am quite young and almost everyone in the squad is older than me, so just having him here is great.

“I think he will go on to help the team a lot, good talent, fast, strong, can score, so yeah it is looking great.”

After being struck down with illness, Monakana has only just begun pre-season training, but despite being a few days behind in terms of fitness, Jeff is just happy to be back training with the boys after his slightly extended summer break.

“You are behind and your body is behind when you miss a few days and you have to get back into running again but the medical staff have helped me real well to get back to where I should be and I am back with the boys now so I am happy with that.

Monakana continued: “Even during the off-season break I was waiting to come back and it is great to be back, I am happy now.

"So far pre-season has been going well, like I say I haven’t done too tough with the lads but watching it I have seen that the lads are looking like they are getting their fitness back now and hopefully I can get back with them and go out there and I am really raring to go.

“I enjoyed my summer off and then just started doing my own things to get fit for pre-season.

“Unfortunately I got ill for a couple of weeks so I have just really started to get back into things now.

“I had a real severe case of tonsillitis and I was really ill and wasn’t eating too much, but now I am back to eating well again and I am just slowly getting back with the boys now so I am happy with that.”

With North End’s first pre-season fixture less than two weeks away, the new season is dawning fast, and with a packed schedule ahead for the first team in terms of friendlies and competitive games against some tough opposition, Monakana is keen to test himself against the best.

“When I saw the Blackpool draw I was absolutely buzzing,” added Jeff.

“That is a massive game and I have never really played in a big derby like that so that’s a great derby and I am really looking forward to that but first and foremost comes the Wolves game and we are going to be looking to win that and get off to a winning start and then take that on to Blackpool which will be a massive game and I am really excited for that, so yeah, some great games.

“It is always good to play against players that are at a higher level than you to test yourself and I definitely want to test myself.

“It is a fitness game but you always want to test yourself and see where you are and I am really excited for the games and looking forward to them.

“I am the sort of person that always wants to test myself against Premier League opposition, that’s great and hopefully I can test myself and see what I can do.”

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