The cover star for our first edition of the matchday programme in 2021 is Tuesday night’s second goal hero Sean Maguire.
The Irishman committed his future to PNE in August, extending his contract until 2023, and he is the first to say he loves the club and there is plenty to look forward to in 2021.
The 25-year-old knows he owes the club, and manager Alex Neil, such a lot after he was signed from Cork City in the summer of 2017.
Sean had already had the disappointment of being released from West Ham in 2015, but North End gave him a chance back in English football – and he is forever grateful for that.
“It’s about enjoying football on and off the pitch and my fiancé, Claudia, and my family love it here.
“I know it was Simon Grayson who signed me but the gaffer has shown a lot of faith in me and I want to repay that loyalty, he has had a big part in me wanting to stay here.
“The club gave me a chance to come here and play at this level and it was a no-brainer in signing that new deal.
“I have made some great friends, the dressing room is fantastic, I love the club and I am happy.”
Sean admits in the early days of his Deepdale career, he felt the pressure of scoring goals.
Having come from a prolific season at Cork, he hit the ground running at PNE with ten goals in that first campaign in 2017/18 despite a hamstring injury hindering him from November to March.
He has been unable to hit the goalscoring heights of double figures again, affected by another hamstring injury and a freak eye injury when a ball hit him in training, but he knows his role has changed over the last few years.
“That first season, I scored a lot of goals and I know I haven’t lived up to that since.
“I came as a No.10, but I rarely play that position now. I have played out wide and play more a No.9 where the gaffer likes me to stretch games with my pace.
“In the last month or so I have also been playing a deeper role with DJ and I really enjoy that, we have bounced off each other, and our job is to bring Scotty and Barky into the game a lot more and into the positions they want to be in.
“There are obviously a number of forward players at the club and we do all offer something different. I think me, Emil and Jayden are all different types of striker and we will fit for some games and not for others and, while you want to be playing every game, as I have got older I understand this more.
“I have a really good relationship with the gaffer and he will explain things to me and, while it’s frustrating when you aren’t playing, I understand his reasons and I respect them.
“I know that, even if I am out of the team for a game, I will get my chance to get back in the team. I have had a good run in the team recently and I just want to make the most of that.
“I think I bring more to the table than just being needed to score. I show other attributes and these are recognised by the gaffer and my team-mates and these are the people whose opinion I care most about.
“At one stage, I did use to be glued to social media but as I have got older, I don’t really use it. I am 25 now!
“If you believe what people say, if you score you are the best in the world and, if you don’t, you shouldn’t be a professional footballer and it can affect you so I took a step back from it all and, to be honest, it’s helped me.
“I like to think I do my talking on the pitch. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and you can’t please everyone, but I hope to silence any critics on the pitch.”
There’s loads more from Sean, plus interviews with fellow striker Emil Riis, Connor Ripley, Richard Cresswell and loads more in the first copy of The One And Only produced for the new year.
You can watch Saturday’s game live on iFollow PNE. Jonathan Breeze and former North End and Forest skipper Paul McKenna are in the Deepdale hot seats bringing all the action live from just after 2.30pm. Click here now to sign up for an iFollow PNE match pass for just £10.