About this time last year, match programme The One And Only sat down with Alan Browne...
He was just completing his first year in England; had played for Ireland U19s and had played his first games as a professional.
A year on, we again spoke to the Cork-born man to discuss his progress and we were able to write a list and tick off the following: play at Wembley – tick; win at Wembley – tick; win a medal with PNE – tick; play regularly for Ireland at U21 level – tick; score for Ireland – tick; play in the Football League Championship – tick; play regularly in the Championship – tick… so what next for the North End No.16?
When he spoke to the programme at the Springfields training complex he admitted that 2015 had been a 12 months to cherish, but he wasn’t going to be resting on his laurels going into his third year at Deepdale.
“I think I have progressed more in the last 12 months than I have in my whole career,” the 20-year-old explained. “I have been working hard on and off the pitch; keeping my head down, focusing on football and the results are paying off.
“If you had told me last year where I would be now, I would have been delighted with that. One of my goals when I first came to the Club was becoming a Championship player and I have achieved that now and that is down to the all the lads, the staff and the fans as well. It has been a dream come true and it is fantastic to be playing at the moment.
“I don’t really look as having a regular place. I have to keep working hard and hopefully I will keep my place, but each week I have to keep improving and that’s the only way to stay in the team, because it is very competitive. At the moment I am just enjoying my football and enjoying the game time that I am getting. It is good to come up against such good opposition – it is the way of testing yourself and I always look to do that and I have been able to in recent weeks against some top quality players.
“I think the last 12 months has been a physical development more than anything. I don’t think this league is as physical as League One was, but in other aspects of the game it is more demanding and everybody knows that it is a hard division. I feel that I have been able to adapt to the Championship a lot better and hopefully I can continue to do that.
“In the previous 12 months my time was about taking on board what others had to say and working hard for the team, but I feel I have come more into my comfort zone now and I know myself that I have to be vocal on the pitch, as it helps me and it helps the boys as well. Once you are out there, everyone has to be a leader and that’s an aspect of my game that I have added this year.
“I have set myself new targets, but I have not got near them yet. Hopefully as the year goes on, I can keep playing and hopefully those goals will be achieved. I will be working hard until then and hopefully it will pay off.”
You can read a lot more from Alan about his Irish aspirations, his hopes for the festive period and much more in Tuesday’s matchday programme.
We also include interviews and features with Paul Huntington – answering your questions – Marnick Vermijl, Joe Garner, Daniel Johnson and Tom Clarke.
We have 13 pages of content about our visitors from the second city and all the other usual content, all included in 84 perfect bound pages for just £3, on sale from the Club shop from Tuesday and then from inside and outside the ground on the evening of the game.