The latest of five Preston North End January signings, Joe Rafferty, is hoping to make big progress under new manager Alex Neil.
The 25-year-old signed a three-and-a-half-year deal with the Lilywhites and spoke with iFollowPNE after completing the paperwork, admitting that the work the manager has done with other players who have stepped up to the Championship was a selling point for him.
And the Scouser is now looking forward to meeting his new team-mates and getting started: “I know Ryan Ledson; he is obviously from Liverpool, like me, he is a great lad and I am looking forward to knowing the rest of the lads as well,” he said.
“I have come up against a few of them. A few of them have played in League One and League Two as well and they have a lot of quality.
“The manager has shown faith in a lot of the lads, who he has brought up from a lower level. At first they might not have been up to scratch, but he has worked hard – as have they – and got them up to the level required and that was a big selling point for me and I can’t wait to get started.”
Joe takes the No.15 short vacated by Calum Woods and he feels that with 250-plus games for Keith Hill’s Rochdale, he can add some experience to the young PNE group.
“I am over the moon to get the deal done; once I knew there was a bit of interest, I couldn’t wait to get it over the line, because this is a massive club,” he continued.
“I can add a bit of experience to the squad. I have had six years at Rochdale and played as lot of games. I had a good chat with the manager and he came across very well. I understand what he wants and I hope I can do well for him and the club.”
And he feels that coming into a group on a high, after last weekend’s 4-1 win at Loftus Road, will be a big help to his settling in period.
“The lads got an unbelievable win away at QPR last weekend and it is always a positive to come into a winning dressing room.
“I now want to get started, get training and start to learn about them. I am here to play football and I want to improve myself and work hard for the team,” he added.