Ben Pearson says his spell out of the side at the start of the season has been the driving force in earning him a new contract.
And speaking to PNE.Com as the ink dried, the Lilywhites’ No.4 said that he had worked hard to regain his place and ultimately extend his stay at a place he is thoroughly enjoying his work.
“I am over the moon,” he told the club’s official website. “It is what you work for as a footballer; to earn the contracts to enable you to keep playing football. Working hard and biding my time has paid off for me since the start of the season.
“It has come right in the middle of Christmas and my birthday, so I could have asked for it to come at a better time!
“I have worked hard for the past 15 years to get to this point. I am really happy here and enjoying my football, playing well and playing every week; so it was the obvious next step for me to secure my long term future with Preston North End.
“If you had asked me three months ago what I would have done if I was in this situation, I would have bitten your hand off for the chance to sign. I wasn’t in the side and that gave me a kick up the backside to organise my life a bit better, to do the right things, to work harder in training, because you never know when it could be over.
“There were times when I thought that if I kept being out of the team I might have to go elsewhere, but that shows you how quickly football can change and shows you are never out of the picture and if you work hard and concentrate on what you are good out, then you never know what can happen.
“The gaffer has been good to me; he has allowed me to express myself. I knew I would get a chance at some point and when the Bournemouth game I had to take it. Then he showed faith in the players who had done well in that game by continuing to play them and results have been going well. We have flown up the table, I have been playing week in, week out and I am enjoying my football – long may that continue.”
Ben’s current deal did not run out until the summer of 2018, however, he feels the extra security of the new contract will allow him to further develop as a player.
“I had 18 months left, which might seem like a long time, but in football it can also be a short time.” he continued. “With how well I am doing, how much I am enjoying it and the fact that I am close to home – which is a big thing for me – it all pointed me in the direction to get a new deal done to secure my future and keep playing somewhere that I am enjoying myself.
“It is a young squad here at Deepdale. A lot of the young players are on long term contracts now, which is a good thing. It keeps the group together, which was together even prior to me coming for a couple of years.
“It is good to have a stable group that is going to be together for a couple of years and the gaffer knows what he is going to get from them.”