Preston North End’s new No.17, Ben Whiteman, told iFollow PNE that after speaking to manager Alex Neil it was a ‘no brainer’ to sign for the Lilywhites.
The 24-year-old put pen to paper on a contract until the summer of 2024 and says that his conversation with the North End boss made his mind up immediately about the permanent transfer to Deepdale.
“I am over the moon to be at this massive football club,” said the midfielder. “There weren’t many sides that I would have moved onto from Doncaster, but this ticked all the boxes and once I spoke to the manager it was a no brainer for me.
“As soon as I had finished with him, I had made my mind up straight away. He spoke very well and spoke very highly of the football club and I can’t wait to start.”
The manager, in his interview about his new man, spoke to his experience at quite a young age and Ben agreed, this has given him a great grounding.
“I have had three and a half great years at Doncaster,” he continued. “Getting the captain’s armband was a massive achievement for me and my family and now I am looking forward to pulling on the white shirt and playing for Preston.
“I think [getting games] is massive for any footballer. To learn the leagues; to go to League Two with Mansfield was a massive stepping stone for me and then moving onto Doncaster into League One was another loan before they made it permanent.
“I like to think I have played a lot of football over the past two or three seasons and hopefully that stands me in good stead. I like to think I have played a few games now; I know the leagues and hopefully I can carry that on into the Championship.”
He comes into a dressing room with a few familiar faces and is looking forward to getting out on the training pitch with them after a spell of isolation due to Covid over the Christmas period.
“I know a couple of the lads. I know Josh Harrop from when I was at Manchester United; Ben Pearson was the year older than me and I know Ched [Evans] from his days at Sheffield United, so hopefully they can welcome me in.
“I am looking forward to getting started. I can’t wait to get out with the boys training. I can’t wait for the game at the weekend.
“I love playing football and my ten days [in isolation] seemed to go really slowly and now I just want to get out on the training pitch and back playing games. I want to get training as soon as possible and then see what the manager says for the weekend; I can’t wait to put the shirt on.”
And the difficult question. What can PNE fans expect from the man who signed for an undisclosed fee from the Keepmoat Stadium?
“I’d like to think that I am an honest player. I give my all week in, week out. I like to get on the ball and make things happen and I like to score a few goals as well.
“Football has been a little bit different this year without the fans and they are a massive miss, but I am looking forward to them getting back into the stadium as soon as possible and seeing [the fans] there.”
Saturday's trip to Bristol City, which could see Ben's debut, is live on iFollow PNE, with Guy Clarke and former North End and Robins defender Rob Edwards on commentary duty - click here now to sign up for a £10 match pass to watch live.