Irish international striker Sean Maguire will come up against his first English club this weekend, when the Lilywhites host West Ham United at Deepdale.
The Lilywhites host Manuel Pellegrini’s side in their first home friendly of the 2018/19 season, just two days before Sean Dyche’s Burnley arrive in PR1 and Maguire believes he will be able to demonstrate the development he has had since his time with the Hammers.
In an extended interview with the No.24 at the club’s Irish training camp, he told iFollow PNE he was excited at the step up in the team’s preparations for the new campaign.
“I feel I have moved on a lot since my West Ham days,” he said. “I signed there when I was an 18-year-old, very immature, dealing with things I wouldn’t deal with nowadays.
“I feel I have moved on a lot more mentally, rather than physically. I understand the game a lot more and this will be an opportunity to show how I have developed and also impress our own fans in what is our first home game of pre-season.
“It is another chance to get minutes under my belt. There aren’t many players or staff still there from my time at the club, but I am looking forward to the game.
“It will be good to catch up with Jordy [Hugill]. I will also look forward to seeing Declan Rice and Josh Cullen who I know from the international set up.”
Three days into the squad’s trip to the Emerald Isle, the former Cork City man is feeling the benefit of it and enjoyed his return to his former home ground on Tuesday evening.
“This week is about getting to know the new lads a little bit better, gelling as a group; a few team bonding sessions and doing a bit more of the technical and tactical side of the work,” he continued.
“The first couple of weeks was all about getting the fitness back up and the game against Cobh was a continuation of us trying to get our fitness back up and our match sharpness closer. Everyone is up to 60 minutes now and with two big games to come this weekend, they will be a good test for us.
“We have played three games now and it doesn’t matter what level the opposition are, it is good to have scored 18 goals and the confidence is high. The goals have been spread across the forward line and it has been a good start so far and we will be looking to continue a good positive week.”
The step up in opposition this coming weekend sees two Premier League sides visit PR1 in the space of 72 hours and these are games Seani is welcoming.
“The manager has selected two different types of games. West Ham have a few foreign players, with a new manager, who will want to get the ball down and play and it will be a good test for us. They have spent a lot of money so far.
“We then play Burnley who are a physical side with some very good footballers and it will be another good test for us.
“My first game last season was against them and I really enjoyed it and which ever of the two games I am involved in, I will look forward to it,” he added.
Click on the video at the top of the page to watch an extended interview with the player, as he talks about the summer and his preparations for the new campaign, his return to Turner’s Cross, the PNE fans who had travelled to Ireland and their important role in 2018/19.