Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile is fully focused on his personal development as he looks towards making his first team debut, after signing a professional deal at Preston North End.
The 17-year-old put pen to paper on a contract on Wednesday which runs until the summer of 2026, and now that first deal has come, he’s focused on continuing to improve in the hope of one day making his senior bow.
Felipe said: “I couldn’t be happier to be honest. I can’t wait to start this journey and improve every day.
“It’s my main goal right now to keep improving, keep working towards that debut and when the chance comes just grasp it and give it my all, and hopefully get a goal which is what I love to do.
“Sometimes it is a bit harder with older players. They’re more experienced and better quality, but it’s just about improving and getting to that level. It’s a high standard and if I can get to that it’d be great.”
After being spotted playing grassroots football by PNE, Felipe and his family chose to join the Lilywhites over a few other interested parties, and he moved into the youth setup.
He started to get his first experiences with the U19s – despite being 16 and still at school – and his most notable appearance came in the FA Youth Cup at Deepdale, as he netted five times against Rotherham United in December 2022.
Felipe said: “After that game it honestly just went up and thankfully it just kept improving and kept improving.
“Now I’m in a stage where I’m still learning a lot and being with the first team has just boosted my confidence a lot.
“After the game I couldn’t really understand what was going on. I didn’t know what was going to happen after. I just thought it was a normal game where I did well.
“Then obviously after that game it all went crazy and it helped it a lot. No one knew me at that time and it was quite weird to have my Instagram blow up.
“Me and my parents sat and talked and said, ‘This is happening, we’ve got to stay calm. Keep your feet on the ground and keep working,’ because it was just the start.”
From there came opportunities training with the first team and he was then featuring in pre-season, scoring in three different matches.
Felipe – who has also recently been involved in the Argentina U17 setup – has been named as a substitute for Sky Bet Championship matches on a handful of occasions so far this season.
All of his achievements so far couldn’t have been done without the help of his family and everyone at Preston North End.
Felipe said: “I just want to thank my family for all their support and helping me in the tough times and the good times as well.
“I want to thank the fans obviously. They’re really special to me because the messages they send me, I read them all. I really enjoy the passion of this club.
“I thank Ryan Lowe as well for the opportunity of being up here. Sometimes it is tough but he’s always helping me and the staff members as well. I thank my agent for making this happen.”