Irish youth international midfielder Alan Browne has signed for the Lilywhites, subject to international clearance.
The Republic of Ireland U19 player completed the paperwork on an 18-month deal after the transfer window opened on January 1st.
Browne, 18, came to the attention of PNE when he was on the books at Irish side Cork City, as an amateur, and also captaining the Irish U19 side.
He joined PNE on trial in late 2013 earning a contract to at least the end of the 2014/15 season; and he will wear the No.31 shirt.
Speaking about his latest recruit, manager Simon Grayson said: “We became aware of Alan playing in Ireland, asked him over for a week’s trial and liked what we saw. We think he has a bright future; he’s got fantastic energy about him, is two-footed and is a goalscoring midfielder. He’s still young, represents the Republic of Ireland and we feel he can improve over the next few months and years.
“He has different characteristics to the other young players we have at the Club and we are trying to trying to bring these players through, to develop them as professional football players.
“It worked in our favour that the Irish league finished in early November and we struck a deal that he could come and train with us for two months before he actually signed. He has been doing all the work they’ve done in the gym, yoga, on the fitness side and on the training ground and he’s a very fit lad.
“He is grasping full-time training and that has been valuable for both of us. He has been able to get up to speed and get used to full-time training before the competitive football starts. He has played a couple of behind closed door games and there have been encouraging signs; so hopefully somewhere down the line he gets an opportunity and can show people what he is capable of doing.
“Josh Brownhill is a prime example to anybody in the Academy, to the Scholars or any of our young professionals; there is an opportunity there to take if it comes along. Josh has done that with his performances and he can be an inspiration and a motivation to other players to go and do the same thing.”