Deals on the table for PNE stars

Joe Garner

Joe Garner

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Preston North End are looking to tie down three of their squad to longer contracts this summer.

Talks are due to start soon with Lilywhites’ player of the year Joe Garner over an extended deal.

And there has already been dialogue with youngsters Alan Browne and Ben Davies.

The trio are under contract until June 2015 but North End want them signed up for longer.

Getting them to sign fresh deals will go hand-in-hand with the club’s planned incoming transfer business.

Garner enjoyed a fine 2013/14 campaign, netting 24 goals in all competitions.

All but one of those came from the beginning of November onwards, with him really hitting form after a slow start to his time at Deepdale.

Earlier this month Garner was voted PNE’s player of the year by both supporters and his team-mates.

He saved his best goal of the campaign for the first leg of the play-offs against Rotherham, netting a stunning volley.

The striker joined North End on an initial 18-month deal in January last year after leaving Watford.

During the season, the club took up a further year’s option on him, taking him through until next summer.

Negotiations will take place with Garner’s agent shortly.

Extended deals for Browne and Davies is an indicator that Preston see a promising future for the pair.

Browne, 19, was signed from Irish side Cork City in January.

At the time, the midfielder was seen very much as one for the future.

But he broke into Simon Grayson’s first-team plans at the end of March and made nine appearances, including the first leg of the play-offs.

Left-back Davies, 18, has just finished a season-long loan with York City.

This week North End took up a year’s option on him but now want to put another 12 months on top of that.

Davies made the most of his stay with York, starting 47 games – more than any other player in the Minstermen squad.

He won their young player of the year award and York would be keen to take him back on loan next season.

But it appears that Grayson wants him challenging for a first-team place at Deepdale.

When the retained list was announced this week, Grayson said: “For a young player like Ben to have played 40 odd games is unbelievable.

“He has gathered a wealth of experience and helped turn around the season for York because it was only around Christmas time when they were in the bottom three or four and then went on an unbelievable run.

“I have been delighted with Ben, and Nigel Worthington was updating us all the time and he was absolutely ecstatic at how well Ben did.

“So he will come back here next season and will hopefully be pushing Scott Laird and David Buchanan for that left back role.”

Meanwhile, the PNE fans team take on their Southport counterparts in the IFA North West Cup final at Chorley’s Victory Park tomorrow (2pm).

The match coincides with the Thirsty Magpie Beer Festival.