Frankie McAvoy was delighted to see Joe Rodwell-Grant notch his first goal in senior football against Wigan Athletic.
The first-year professional came off the bench in the pre-season friendly at the DW Stadium and in the 87th minute had a moment he will never forget, slotting the ball into the back of the net right in front of the PNE supporters.
“It was a magnificent icing on the cake for myself and the group when young Joe Rodwell-Grant [scored],” Frankie told iFollow PNE.
“He’s a Preston fan, he’s been at the club for a good number of years, I think since he was ten/11 years old, and it was magnificent for him for the goal.
“Tom Bayliss does well with the puncture between the lines and he goes through, and for me, at 18 years of age, I think his finish was really composed and I’m absolutely delighted with that.”
Also involved on the night was skipper Alan Browne, who played 60 minutes in the 3-2 defeat, and Frankie said he felt the Irishman looked “a class above”.
Trialist Jamie Thomas got his first start in a PNE shirt, while another trialist was included on the bench, 19-year-old Tyler Williams, who left the Lilywhites last summer after finishing his scholarship in the Academy.
Frankie explained how that came about, saying: “Tyler was one of the group of boys that when Covid first kicked in there was a few of them that obviously didn’t get professional contracts that were on the periphery of getting one.
“He went to Middlesbrough and he managed to terminate his contract and I got a phone call just to say would we be interested to have a look at him and bring him back in, and that’s what we’ve done.
“We’ve had him for a couple of days, just put him up in our environment and we’ll see how he does. He knows Preston North End well, he’s been here for a good couple of years, so we’ll have a wee look and see how he does.”
On the game itself, the Lilywhites were beaten by League One outfit Wigan Athletic, who have gone unbeaten in their pre-season schedule and fielded a strong side on the night.
Frankie suggested pre-match that he would use this game to try out a different formation to the one which has been heavily used throughout his time in charge, the wing back system, and he did just that on Friday night, changing to a 4-3-3.
He added: “We knew what we were coming to face. We knew that we were trying to balance to make sure everybody can get 90 minutes. Obviously the biggest disappointment for us was the Manchester United game that was cancelled, but I need to be fair to everybody.
“I’ve done that, I’ve said that to them, and I thought in terms of tonight, I thought we started really, really well.
“We looked a threat going forward. I changed the system, I always wanted to get a look back at playing 4-3-3 and I thought on the ball at times we looked lively, we had a few good opportunities and chances before Wigan scored.”
Hear much more from Frankie in his full interview at the top of the page, as he discusses this evening's match in more detail, Thomas' performance and much more.