Preston North End midfielder Will Hayhurst is pleased with his pre-season form so far and is relishing the fight for a place in Simon Grayson’s starting line-up.
The 20-year-old has been heavily involved in each of the Lilywhites’ opening four warm-up fixtures and has performed well on the wing, setting up Andy Little’s debut goal against Chorley last week.
With just over a fortnight to go until the new Sky Bet League One season begins, Hayhurst realises how important it is to impress the Club’s coaching staff in training and matches.
Speaking exclusively to PNE.Com, the North End Academy graduate said: “I think I have done alright, I think I’ve got a lot to build on and learn from and hopefully I can keep trying to impress on the training pitch and do my best in games.
“Everyone is fighting for that first spot in the 11 and it’s going to be tough but that’s what you have in football, you have to fight for your spot and I’m enjoying that.”
Since Preston's players returned to Springfields just over three weeks ago, the weather in the city has been nothing short of tropical.
Temperatures have regularly hit the mid-20s and while he admits the heat makes training more difficult, Hayhurst believes it will improve the squad’s fitness levels.
“It’s been tough, it’s hard, but I think that makes you fitter, playing in this type of weather,” he commented.
“You see people playing in Brazil with the kind of weather they’ve got and I think last night was good, we were sitting behind a few trees.
“It’s enjoyable and hopefully it can stay this sunny.”
Hayhurst spent a large portion of last season on loan at Sky Bet League Two side York City and played a key role in the Minstermen’s pursuit of a Play-Off place.
The Republic of Ireland U21 international admits he was not completely sold on the idea of the deal at first but now looks back on his time at Bootham Crescent as a learning experience.
“I think I have benefited a lot, it was tough to leave Preston for me, I didn’t really want to go but I felt it was the right time to get regular game time under my belt,” he said.
“I think I played in every game there and we did very well so it was good, learning different experiences, different situations and different ways to win points.
“Hopefully that can help me be more experienced to come back here.”