Ben Davies has put pen to paper on a new three-and-a-half-year contract with Preston North End and is looking for further progression.
The Lilywhites’ No.20 has had a break out season in 2017/18, playing the majority of the games, earning the offer of a new deal, something he was more than happy to sign.
Speaking to iFollow PNE, the 22-year-old, said that this is another step forward and one he wants to build on once again: “I am absolutely delighted,” he said. “I only just recently signed a new contract and to have the club come back and reward me again for my performances this season, I am over the moon.
“I have been here a while now and I know the club inside out. It has been a bit of a slog getting through all the years and all the loans, but now I am really happy to be here and to be staying.
“It is all about stepping stones and I have taken each step as it has come and I have built on each one and I am now looking to build on this and keep progressing.”
Ben has been at the club since the age of 11 and admits that with numerous loan spells away from PR1, he felt there were times he may not have a future at the club, but since the arrival of Alex Neil, his confidence in his own ability has continued to improve with every game.
“There were times when I wasn’t sure whether I would still be here,” he continued. “For any player it is never an easy road; most players have to change routes and join different clubs, you don’t see many who stay at one place all the way through, but I am delighted to have stuck at it and now I am settled at Preston and I want to kick on and progress again.
“I moved here when I was 16, that’s seven years I have been in and around and I have seen the club go through ups and downs. It has been quite frustrating watching both of them, but now I am more established in the squad, I feel a lot more of a part of it.
“You need that belief that you can overcome things. I have been through some bad moments on the pitch and I use those now and I am ready for some more good moments now at Preston.
“The whole squad have benefitted from the belief the manager has in us. For me personally, he has really given me that belief. He has put me out on the pitch and that is where you learn.
"I have had experiences throughout the season where I have learnt I can cope and I can play at this level and the gaffer has had a huge part to play in that.”
And with eight big games to come that belief is something the Barrow-born defender hopes will take him and the side into the Play-Offs, but also acknowledges, that whatever the outcome this season, there is still a lot more to come from the squad.
“I have been in the League Two and League One Play-Offs and I think this squad has a lot more belief than the two previous experiences I have had. It comes from the manager; he has been there and done it before and we have seen throughout the season, if we follow his plans, then more often than not we get the right result.
“There is a strong nucleus of us who are all around the same age and we just need to stick together. We can all see how much we have improved, both individually and collectively as a team, and we are all aware that if we stick together, we can improve further,” he added.