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Only The Beginning For Jeff

7 May 2013

Jeffrey Monakana established himself as a first team regular during his first season at Deepdale and he is hopeful of a positive 2013/14.

The winger signed for North End during the squad rebuild this time last year and he has quickly went on to become a firm favourite of the Preston fans during his time in Lancashire so far.

With his trickery and pace, Monakana is a player who excites the crowds more than most and after a fine individual season for the Lilywhites’ No.17, he is hoping to show that there is more to come from him in the future.

“I think it has been a good season for me,” declared Monakana.

“I have played 47 games and only Nicky Wroe has played as many as me, so for me to get that amount of games is crazy, I never thought I’d ever amass to that, I have also scored six goals.

“I didn’t really have a target of goals, I wasn’t really expecting to score many so for me to get six is crazy.

“I wanted to get more assists, that is one thing I was looking for, more assists.

“I managed to get nine so I am still happy with that, I wanted to get more but yeah, for me it has been a good season and it is only the beginning and this is only my introduction into the Football League and I am looking to kick on next year.

“Looking back and talking about it, you actually notice what you have done and I never thought that I’d do that, but it is only the beginning and I am nowhere even close to my best.

“I am just trying to practice and I think once I get to my best, everything will start coming off and I can hopefully double my goals and make my other stats go up as well.

“At the start of the season, I really thought we would be in the Play-Offs, if not winning the league, so that was the disappointing thing.

In terms of what I expected from my first season, I have always been hungry and I have always wanted to be a footballer and that has always been my dream and goal.

“I was always just happy to play and to see the things that I have done in games come off, the man of the matches and all that, you never really expect it, it gives you the best feeling ever and I want to get that feeling again next year and with that feeling also get into the Championship.

“After Christmas, the pitches start to cut up and that makes it very hard, when you watch it, you don’t really notice how difficult it is to play on surfaces like that, so I think that was the biggest shock to me.

“Obviously coming from Arsenal the pitches were always in top condition and coming to certain places in the league, the pitches aren’t the best, so I think that was the biggest thing, but now I have seen that and I have done a year of it I know now next year what to expect and how to deal with them situations.”

In what was a season full of magical moments for Monakana, he spoke to PNE.Com about what the highlights were for him, from his goal against Crystal Palace, to his performance against Stevenage.

He continued: “There has been quite a few highlights for me, I think my first goal against Palace, I don’t think I will ever get that feeling again.

“When I got man of the match on Sky, that was another great moment and the Stevenage game away, I think that was probably one of my best games for Preston, so I think in them three I really felt at my peak.

“As a young player it is hard to be consistent and most young players don’t get that consistency until later on but I want to try and get that consistency next year and go through every game being at my best.

“I will be 20 next year, so I just want to get to that level were my performances are good enough to help us get out of this league and progress from there.

“I have tried to score a few like my goal against Palace but they have not went in, I don’t think I will get that feeling again because of all the emotions and your first year in football and at a new club with all the fans and it is just crazy.

“You don’t really go into a game thinking about scoring, you just go into the game thinking of playing well and to come off after scoring a goal like that is just like a dream.” 

Looking ahead to the future, Monakana firmly believes that the building blocks are there for a successful season at Deepdale and if everyone pulls in the same direction, then promotion could be on the horizon.

“Last year we were ready and we were very unlucky to be out of the top six during the start of the season but I think hopefully we can learn from that,” added Jeffrey.

“There is obviously going to be a few additions to the team which will make us stronger and hopefully that can help and we can really kick on and learn from our mistakes this year and push on.

“If everyone is there scoring and assisting and making challenges and so on, then that is what you need to get out of this league.

“Sometimes what I have noticed in this league is that it is not all about what you do on the ball, it is about what you do off it, like teams like Doncaster who have went on to be champions have shown.

“We have went on and beat them so this league is very tight and I definitely think we can get out of it.”

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