Prior to flying out with the Ireland U19s, Alan Browne spoke to PNE.Com to reflect on his first season in professional football and at Preston North End.
The former Cork City midfielder signed on the dotted line for PNE at the beginning of this calendar year, making a telling contribution towards the back end of last season with eight league appearances since making his debut in the 3-1 win to Peterborough in March.
And the 19-year-old has no regrets about leaving his home town of Cork after settling into life in Lancashire after initially finding the move a bit of a struggle.
“When I first came over it was quite hard moving away from home and I didn’t imagine it was going to be as difficult as that.” Browne told PNE.Com.
“But now that I’m settled and finding my feet, I’m a lot happier and it’s been a great experience for me.
“When I signed I couldn’t have imagined anything like this; I’ve come really far and I’m made up to have got involved with the first-team towards the end.”
Despite the season coming to a climax, the football doesn’t stop there for Browne with the Ireland U19s kicking off their European U19 Championship elite phase group tonight against Iceland at the Tallaght stadium, Dublin.
The clash is followed with the Irish youngsters taking on Turkey on Friday, and Serbia on Sunday in the Irish capital, with the winners of that group going on to play in the Championships at the end of June in Hungary.
And although the year is proving to be an extremely busy one for Browne, he has no desire of taking a well-earned break just yet.
“Hopefully we can do as well as possible in those games and qualify for the Championships at the end of June,” added Browne.
“I’m not going to stop playing football for a while yet, but after that, I’ll try and enjoy my summer as much as I can.”
“Once the season begins though, I’m just going to give it my all and get this club promoted back into the Championship.