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First Team News

McCann Raring To Go

10 September 2021

Ali McCann said he's “raring to go” after completing his first training session as a Preston North End player on Friday.

The 21-year-old signed for the club on deadline day, but has been on international duty with Northern Ireland so only managed to join up with his new team-mates this morning.

PNE's new No.13 played twice for his nation over the break and now goes straight into contention to feature for PNE in Saturday’s game against Bristol City.

Speaking to iFollow PNE, Ali said: “I’m raring to go. Even coming into training today I was ready to go. I didn’t feel like I played a game on Wednesday night.

“I feel the energy and the proper stuff starts tomorrow and it’s great to be involved in it.

“It’s been a long sort of ten days since I signed, but it’s great to get in and everyone’s been really welcoming to me and made it a fairly easy first day.”

Having been at St Johnstone since he was a teenager, the midfielder has never experienced heading into a new club and a brand new dressing room, but he said everyone at the training ground helped make it a positive day.

“I’m not going to lie I was a wee bit nervous driving in,” he admitted. “But as soon as I got in everyone has just been lovely with me and it just settles you straight away. I just can’t wait to get going with the football.

“The manager showed me round and showed me everything, the facilities are great. I just can’t wait to make the most of them.”

Ali was not only able to meet his team-mates for the first time, but he also got his first experience of playing alongside them on the pitch, taking part in training in the morning.

He said: “It was good, the standard was really good. It was sharp, it was zipping and all the lads seem really up for the game tomorrow.

“Obviously I’ll get to know them more as the days and the weeks go on, but even the session we did today you can see the ability and standard that all the players have got and it’s great to be a part of it.”

While away with his nation, Ali started two World Cup qualifiers, the first a 4-1 victory over Lithuania, before playing 90 minutes in a draw against Switzerland.

Many PNE fans tuned into those matches to see their new man in action, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by Ali.

He said: “It was good; this break has been brilliant for Northern Ireland. We got three good results, two wins and a draw against Switzerland so it’s been a great week for me.

“To play Lithuania and then the Switzerland game on Wednesday was great. Just being involved with it all is brilliant and it’s positive going back into the club stuff.

“It’s great that they’re watching me. Hopefully I gave them a good first impression and hopefully there’s more to come in Preston colours.”

Watch Ali’s full interview on iFollow PNE now.


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