Noah Mawene already has his eyes on making his way into the first team, but he is well aware that it will take his own hard work to get there.
The 16-year-old midfielder impressed playing in the U18s last season and has been rewarded with a two-year scholarship with Nick Harrison’s side, while also signing a professional contract which will activate when he turns 17 in February next year.
Noah has a close connection with PNE given his father Youl’s history with the club, having spent six years with the first team, and Noah is certainly keen to follow in his footsteps.
“It’s definitely an objective of mine,” Noah told iFollow PNE when asked about spending time with the senior squad.
“I definitely want to be in and around the first team. I can learn a lot off them. I’ve already had conversations with my dad about them, they’re all top players.
“I watch them at the weekends and they’re all so talented. I’ll try and earn the right to come down here. It’s always about earning the right to do things, so I can’t wait.
“I’m just going to come here and be myself, that’s what it’s about. I’m just going to be myself and hopefully that’s enough for the fans to like me. I just can’t wait, I’ve said that a lot but it’s true!”
To sign a deal at a Championship club at the age of just 16 is a great achievement for any young player, but Noah is very modest about his prospects and is keeping level headed ahead of pre-season.
He said: “It’s a huge honour to be around this club, obviously my dad was around this club so it means a lot.
“I’m looking forward to my future at this club. It’s just a privilege what I’ve been offered. I’ve worked hard for it, so I’m just going to continue the work and see where my football takes me.
“It’s about using this as a platform now and trying to build off it to get more and more success, so I’m really pleased.
“I just want to do it for my family, make them happy. I’m glad he’s [Youl’s] pleased as well so I’m just going to keep up the hard work for him and for me, and then let’s see where this takes me.”
Playing in an age group above proved not to be a problem for Noah last season with the U18s, as his goal tally hit double figures, with his most memorable performance coming against Accrington Stanley.
He bagged a hat-trick in that particular game and the midfielder feels experience like that within his first full season with the squad will help him heading into his first year as a scholar.
Noah said: “It was a massive experience. They made it very easy for me, they’re all very sociable people, very good footballers and I’ve learned a lot from being around them at a young age, so next year is a big year. We’ll push and aim for as much as we can.
“It’s a massive step up [to the U18s]. The football’s much different, obviously playing on a beautiful pitch is much easier. The quality of players I’m playing with has stepped up a lot. I just can’t wait, I’m so excited.”
You can watch Noah’s interview with iFollow PNE at the top of this page.