Aaron Bennett is looking to make an impact for the first team as soon as possible after signing a professional deal with Preston North End.
The midfielder, who has just completed the second year of his scholarship at the club, has put pen to paper on a deal which keeps him at Deepdale as a professional for at least a year, with PNE also having the option to extend by a further 12 months.
Asked what his aims for the next few months are, Aaron said: “Just to kick off pre-season well, to start fast and see how I go for the beginning of the season.
“I’m ready to try and make an impact as soon as I can.”
Aaron suffered an ACL injury during his first year as a scholar and as a result spent ten months on the sidelines, before returning in February 2022.
He has since been in incredible form for the youth team, having scored 11 goals in as many games in league and cup competition, while also impressing in the Central League.
Those performances have recently helped him earn a call-up to Euxton to train with the first team, and that’s something he has thoroughly enjoyed.
“It’s been good,” Aaron said. “The lads are proper nice and it’s good. The standards are so much better and I enjoy it.
“It’s just different [to the U19s]. They’re a lot more experienced, not necessarily better, but they’ve got a better-thinking brain, their football’s a lot better and it’s quicker so you’ve got to adapt really quick, but then again you’ve just got to learn from them.”
Manager Ryan Lowe had been told about the promise of Aaron by fellow staff at the club, including Academy manager Nick Harrison and first team coach Paul Gallagher.
After then seeing the midfielder in action himself, Ryan chose to include Aaron in first team training, and the manager has of course also used fellow second-year scholar Mikey O’Neill three times in the Championship in recent weeks.
With the sign of that pathway for young players clear to see, Aaron said: “It does give you a lot of belief and a goal to aim for really, just to see what you can do and how quickly you can do it.
“He [Ryan] has been good. Every time I’ve been down he’s been welcoming and he’s put a lot of trust in me, shown a lot of faith to come down and train with the team in the past couple of weeks.
“Obviously with the contract it’s time to show him and prove myself.”