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First Team News

Ali Looking Forward To More Years With North End

5 January 2024

First Team News

Ali Looking Forward To More Years With North End

5 January 2024

There’s no guarantees that a transfer is going to work, especially when it’s your first professional move and you don’t really know what's coming.

Going into a new environment, away from home for the first time since being a teenager, things may not all come together as quickly as you’d like, but that’s not been the case for Ali McCann.

Two and a half years on from his move down from Scotland to join Preston North End, the midfielder is delighted with how everything has worked out for him, and he’s now got another three and a half years to look forward to.

Ali said: “It was my first move so I didn’t really know what I was in for to be honest. It felt like I was moving school or something like that for the first time.

“When I came in, I was nervous, I didn’t know anyone, but everyone from the first day I walked in just made it so easy. Everyone was lovely so it’s great to be a part of to be honest.

“I’ve said loads of times before that it’s the perfect club for me to come down to.

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“Settling in during the last couple of years was so easy. I’ve done interviews before when I’ve said the staff, the players, everyone, even the people who work at the training ground have made it so easy for me and I feel properly settled.”

The 24-year-old feels all of that away from the pitch has made playing his football on it much easier, and you can probably see that in his performances.

Ali, when available, tends to feature in most matches in the centre of midfield, and he'll be hoping to continue playing a key role for the duration of his new deal, which runs until at least the summer of 2027.

“I’m absolutely buzzing just to get it all sorted,” he said. “To be fair, it was quite easy from start to finish, just getting it all done.

“I’m really happy here and just looking forward to the next couple of years.

“If you’re playing you get properly settled in, you get bedded in with the lads, and you get to know everyone both off the pitch and on the pitch which is massive for a football club.

“It’s great to rack up as many games as I have done over the last couple of years and going forward hopefully that carries on.”

The Northern Ireland international will be looking to add to his tally of 84 PNE appearances this weekend when Ryan Lowe’s side head to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in the Emirates FA Cup third round.

“I can’t wait for it,” he said. “We’ve had a couple of good cup ties since I’ve been here.

“We’ve had Spurs and Liverpool both at home so it’s nice to get a big away day down in London.

“I’m sure the fans will be buzzing and the players are as well. We can’t wait for it. That’s what you play football for, games like this: to go down there and put yourselves up against the best.

“We know it’s going to be a tough game but we’ve got to go there with the belief that we can get something from it and we’ll go and have a go. We may as well.”

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