Josh Brownhill says that being nominated for Apprentice of the Year means he has achieved one of his career goals.
The youngster was nominated for the Football League accolade after starring for Simon Grayson’s side since breaking into the first team as a substitute against Oldham Athletic in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
And the reward for his sterling performances is this nomination which pleases the PNE No.30.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com, Brownhill said: “It feels great to be nominated for Apprentice of the Year.
“Being a first year scholar and knowing that you can get an award for being apprentice of the year, that was my aim, to get that, and to be nominated for it feels great.
“That was a short term goal of mine and to be nominated for it is great and I feel really good about it.”
Since making his debut, Brownhill has made 16 further appearances for the Lilywhites, making starts against Championship sides such as Nottm Forest and Ipswich Town.
And the 18-year-old says that the season so far has been ‘a dream come true’.
“This season has been a great journey,” added Josh.
“Obviously I hoped towards the end of the season to try and get what I have got now really, but it has come so fast.
“To play away at Wolves, at Nottingham Forest in front of 25,000 people, it’s just a dream come true.
“I have started quite a lot of games and have started more than I have come on.
“I like to think that I have done well when I have played and I just want to show the gaffer how I can play and that he can trust me.
“The players have been great so far and it can only get better.
“I am getting more comfortable every day, the lads are great and they welcomed me from day one and helped me out and they know they can trust me on the pitch and don’t think I am just a little kid on the pitch and they know I can handle it and that’s why I have been brought in.”
As well as gaining consistent on field minutes, Brownhill has been chipping in on the goal front, scoring three to date for Preston.
But it is the quality of those three goals that has impressed more than anything else, winning two Goal of the Month Awards – one of which, eventually being named 2013 Goal of the Year and the third also leading to a nomination for the December award.
“My goals have been all right!” smiled Brownhill.
“They have been team goals as well, like that one at Carlisle which was a whole team goal and I just finished it off with a good finish.
“The one at Crawley away was another good bit of passing between a couple of players and then to go through and score, and the first goal that I scored was just an unbelievable feeling.
“And to get started off and get that one so early, it just kicked me on for the rest of the season.”
With the season reaching crunch time, it is arguably an even bigger time of the year for the North End Academy players, with professional contracts on the table if the second year scholars are able to impress Grayson and Co.
So Josh is hoping that his nomination is a shot in the arm for those players to go out and grasp the opportunity of a career in the professional game.
He continued: “This nomination will hopefully give the Academy lads a bit of motivation to see how far I have come and how far they can get if they put their minds to it.
“For the first year’s, it will be great for them to see one of their teammates get nominated for an award like this and hopefully they will aim to get this as well.”