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First Team News

Award Delights Davies

14 May 2018

After picking up the Young Player of the Year award, Ben Davies reflected on his breakthrough campaign at the club, which saw him make 35 appearances in all competition this season under manager Alex Neil.

The defender signed his first professional contract at the club in 2013 and after a number of spells out on loan, the 22-year-old settled quickly into life in the Championship this term, his first season in the second tier.

Davies, who was awarded with the Scholar of the Year award back in 2013 after coming through the Academy at the club, capped off an impressive campaign when he was voted as the club's Young Player of the Year by the fans.

Speaking to iFollow PNE about his journey to first team football and the award, he said: "I was delighted to pick up the award.

"Knowing it's voted for by the supporters makes it special for me because I've been out everywhere on loan and I've finally come back in front of them and impressed them and I'm delighted.

"It's been a long journey to get playing regularly in the team, the feeling that you get when you're finally playing is brilliant. It's taken me a while, I had played in parts and played the odd game but you feel a lot more at home when you are playing week in, week out.

"I was going in to the unknown really in a new division and people having faith in me has really helped me out. Coming in to the season, I didn't know how it was going to go but I'm delighted with how it's gone. I'm definitely not one for standing still, I'm keen to keep going and keep improving.

"There are good players around you that push you, the management push you and I push myself. I am keen to progress and I think I've got a lot more to come.

With plenty of experiences to learn from this season, it is all about developing for the defender now, and Ben credited the gaffer after putting faith in him at the start of the season.

"It's important, I've always wanted to go and play as many games as I can and so to get a full season at the club is crucial and it proves to myself and everyone else that I can do it. I just need to build on that for next year now and make sure I keep going.

"I've said it before, I think it would have been a different season had the gaffer not come in, he's put faith and confidence in me and it really helps me day in and day out, not just on matchdays."

With North End ending the season just two points outside the top six, Davies is targeting further improvement next year and a place in the Play-Offs is the minimum target for the centre back.

"That became our target this year, to reach the Play-Offs, and that's got to be our target for next year at the minimum really. We've come so close this year and it hurts but it's got to help us push on now and one more place better than seventh is sixth and that will see us in the Play-Offs. I think we are all in the same boat that it will be our minimum target for next year.

"We believe in ourselves and I'm sure the supporters believe in us as well. We're improving year on year and we just need to do that again next year. We know we need to work hard, we know it's not just going to happen, it's a big prize to get promotion and everyone wants it so we have got to stick together, work hard and try and see if we can get there."

Watch the full interview on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above.


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