North End’s first signing of the summer was goalkeeper Chris Maxwell.
He was followed through the doors at Deepdale by fellow keeper Anders Lindegaard and the two have already both shown their capabilities between the sticks. After the first six weeks of the season saw the Dane holing down the No.1 spot, 26-year-old Maxwell got his chance in mid-September and has held onto the gloves since.
But speaking to The One And Only at the Springfields training ground recently, he made it very clear that he is expecting a battle to keep the shirt and is looking forward to the challenge.
“I love the challenge - that’s just me as a person though,” he began when asked by the matchday programme about the competition for places. “Anything I do, whether it’s a bit of work in school, a kick about with my mates, a tennis match when I was younger or even day after day here, I want to be the best at everything.
“That’s been in me since I was born, I want to be the best, I’m competitive and I want to win.
“If I don’t win then I won’t stop until I do. To go along with that, I have had to learn to be patient throughout my career and that’s something I’ve also adapted to. It’s been good really.
“When I knew I was coming in the summer, I knew there was going to be another goalkeeper that was going to come in. I didn’t know who it was at the time, but I sort of had a good idea. I have never ever hid away from a challenge. I think for me and my career I have always gone under the radar, I have always been written off in the past. That hasn’t been the case here. I wouldn’t have come here if the manager and the goalkeeping coach didn’t believe in me.
“I love to challenge myself and I love being challenged by other people. I thoroughly enjoy it and I relish it as well. It is something I thrive on; something I enjoy participating in, and something I enjoy overcoming in the end.
“To get my opportunity to finally play in a league game at Deepdale for Preston North End was an incredible experience, absolutely incredible. I have mentioned it a couple of times to people that I do have a little talk to myself on the pitch and to be standing saying to myself ‘I’m playing here in a Championship game for Preston, in front of 17,000 people and on tele.’ I thought: ‘This is incredible.’
"Four years ago, and I mean no disrespect, I was playing against Braintree Town in front of less than a thousand people, so I did feel a sense of pride and achievement, but I don’t want to rest on my laurels.
“I’m not content with that and I am excited at the next challenge to take on.
“It was a special moment for myself and also to play against Aston Villa a week later was a very surreal moment for me. Being a young kid from Llandudno, a place where the majority of people have never heard of, a town that is not very big at all, and playing against Aston Villa for a massive club like Preston, it was a special moment for me. It was a very short lived, a ten or 15 second thing, then it was time to get on with my job.”
Some of the photos alongside the article were specifically requested at the Villa game of Maxwell and until the final minute he wasn’t particularly busy and therefore they were going to end up as a pretty bland set of snaps, however, his final second penalty save allowed him to show that passion that is clearly evident in his words, something he says is vital to his mood away from football.
“I put some of those photos on my Instagram, I think they sum me up.
“I’m such a winner I will do anything to win.
“My missus will tell you if I don’t win I am a nightmare at home, if we do win I’m the best fiancée in the world. So she’s desperate for us to win as well. But after the game I am immediately thinking about the next game. My mind was on Brighton. Its short lived in enjoying it, before I move onto the next game. It’s a good thing.”
You can read plenty more from the PNE No.22 plus exclusive interviews and features with Alex Bruce, Ayoze Perez, Jermaine Beckford, Tom Clarke, Bailey Wright, Alex Baptiste, Ben Pearson and Greg Cunningham in Saturday’s programme.
There’s also all our regular features and plenty on our opponents in the 100-page edition of The One And Only. The programme will be on sale from Friday afternoon from the Sir Tom Finney Stand ticket office or from sellers inside and outside the ground on matchday.