An engagement to celebrate, two weeks with his national side and a return to pre-season has kept Alan Browne very busy over the summer.
The skipper managed to squeeze a little bit of a break in immediately after the 2021/22 Championship season came to an end, culminating in making partner Shauna his fiancée while in Dubai.
"I didn't overly plan it," he smiled. "I just kind of went with the moment and when it felt right I did it, and I think that took the nerves away a little bit because there wasn’t much of a build up, and thankfully she said yes!"
He soon joined up with the Republic of Ireland ahead of their four Nations League games in June, before having some time to spend with his family ahead of a return to Euxton.
Browne came back to train with his PNE team-mates on Monday morning alongside Ali McCann – who also had international commitments – and he’s enjoyed his time back with the squad so far.
Alan said: “It’s actually good. I know usually pre-season isn’t the best for any player, but in my last few days off I was itching to get back.
“It’s been a good graft so far in the few days I’ve been here, but I’ve enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the rest of it now.
“We lost quite a lot of players at the end of last season so I wasn’t sure how things would be when I got back, but it’s a good buzz around the place and in terms of signings I think the club have done really well so far and hopefully we can add even more over the coming weeks.”
The captain will head to Spain on Friday with his team-mates for a week’s training camp, which will include a game against La Liga side Getafe.
Having been used to trips to Cork and Scotland in recent years, the 27-year-old admitted he’s looking forward to something slightly different this time around.
He said: “I think when you go to places so close to England it’s not that kind of feeling of going away.
“We went to Cork a few times and I think the boys enjoyed it, but they kind of got sick of the repetition after a while, so to be going away to warm weather it’s a bit different and I think everyone’s looking forward to it now.
“Hopefully we can get some more minutes in the legs and work hard. It’s a nice place, we’ll hopefully enjoy the sun, we might get a day off or something I don’t know, but it’s just a different scenery and it’s a good buzz now to be going away there.”
The football side of things is of course important at this time of year, and there will certainly be a fair share of running done out in Alicante too.
However, there’s also something to be said about team bonding during the trip, given that the squad will be with each other for the best part of a week.
On their return to England, there will be a few more friendlies to contest before league action begins, and it won’t be long before North End are back at Deepdale, ready to welcome the 11,500 home supporters who have got their season cards for the new campaign.
On those sales, Browney added: “It’s brilliant. I think it was a great incentive from the club to lower the prices and fair do’s to the fans.
“They got on board with it and I was looking at Twitter and it just kept going up everyday, I was thinking ‘when will it stop?’ because I think compared to last year, even seasons gone by, it’s quite a lot more.
“So credit to the club firstly and credit to the fans for joining in. I think it works well for everyone, and definitely for us to have more people come through the gates to support us every week, that means the world to us and it makes a massive difference as well.”
You can watch Alan’s full interview above for free, as he discusses more about his engagement, his time away with Republic of Ireland and being back with the squad at Euxton.