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First Team News

"It’s Been A Fantastic Season" Says Browne

10 May 2018

Browne was named as the Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year as well as collecting the Goal of the Season award for his superb effort against Cardiff City at Deepdale back in September.

Speaking to iFollow PNE after picking up his three awards, the Irishman said: "I was happy to pick up any award but to get three on the one occasion was special to me, three awards that really meant a lot.

"Receiving recognition from not only the fans but the boys who see me every day in training and acknowledge what I’ve done this season, I was just happy to pick up the awards.

"As a whole it’s been a fantastic season for the club and one we definitely look to improve on next season."

After joining the club at the age of 18, the midfielder has continued to develop year on year and never more so than this season, which has seen the 23-year-old really step up his performances to another level.

On his own progress, he continued: "We’ve had this chat every year and every year I say it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster and that I improve each year. This year is the most I have improved and I’ve really kicked on now.

"I’ve always been settled in but it was strange really because the new gaffer came in and myself, as well as others, were thinking are we going to be in his plans or what’s going to happen.

"It was a strange start to the season and then as the season progressed it was about making sure I was in his plans. Thankfully I did that and I think I played my part in what’s been a good season but obviously not successful because we didn’t achieve anything; other than probably recognition from the other teams in the league. I’m sure they know what a good side we are now, that we will be looking to kick on and really be a driving force in next season’s Championship.

"I’ve probably realised now, because I’ve said it so much throughout the seasons, that the manager has put a lot of belief in me and a lot of confidence. I feel like a new player, to be honest.

"I looked at it two ways at the start of the season. One being that I could go about it in a safe manner, not really take risks and just play it safe and try and get in the team. But I also looked at it as a chance to basically become a new player; I think I’ve done that because I’ve been playing in a new position and I’ve really transformed my game. It’s really been an enjoyable season as well as anything else."

After picking up the Goal of the Season award, Alan admitted that goals was something he was hoping to add to his game, and with his nine goals this campaign more than he has scored in the rest of his time at PNE, he is certainly heading in the right direction.

"When you say it like that it really doesn’t sound much for the rest of the years but hopefully I can improve again and I think I can. I really think I can add more goals to my game but saying that I think I’ve done really well to get where I am today.

"To score nine in this season was a fantastic achievement for me, especially considering that stat! It’s probably not great but it shows how much I’ve improved this season. Under the manager’s guidance and the coaches I can only get better again."

North End narrowly missed out on the top six during the last campaign, finishing seventh, just two points behind Derby County, and Browne is already setting his sights high for the 2018/19 campaign.

"From now it’s about setting our targets for the automatic spots because I think we’re more than capable.

"I think we have some really good quality in the side and as well as that you have players that are giving 100 per cent in every single game and in everything they do. So I think we can really improve, by that I don’t mean just the Play-Offs I mean compete for the league itself.

"We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves just because we’ve finished seventh just outside the Play-Offs. I know it’s a big ask to compete for those automatic spots but at this moment in time I think we’re definitely more than capable of doing it.

"There’s no point in shying away from speaking about it because that’s where we’re at at the moment, and that’s where we want to be. That’s something we’ll look to do and as the season progresses I’m sure we’ll get an idea of where we’ll be at.

"It will be tough, all the other teams will do their best to improve as well. There’s a lot of good teams in this league so you can’t take anything for granted.

"We know that from how short we came up, with just two points being in it. So we’ll go again next season and set our sights high."

The fans will need to play their part once again and Alan felt the number of supporters who stayed to applaud the players after the final game of the season showed the connection between the team and the fans and believes next season could be exciting for everyone involved with the club.

"That’s what it was about, they knew we had a chance and they turned up in their numbers. With us scoring so late and being down to ten you could see that they really helped us over the line, like they have done so many times throughout the season.

"To see them sticking around in appreciation for what we’ve done this season, and likewise for what they’ve done for us, that’s what the lap of honour is all about. I’m sure they’re as excited as we are for next season and you could tell that from the atmosphere that was here on Sunday."

Watch the full interview with Alan Browne on iFollow PNE now where he looks back on the season, his possible international commitments over the summer and his hopes for the 2018/19 season.


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