New Preston North End goalkeeper Chris Maxwell is relishing the double challenge of playing in the Championship for the first time and battling to be first choice at Deepdale.
Maxwell was the first to book into the PNE summer arrivals’ lounge yesterday, joining on a Bosman from Fleetwood.
He has signed a three-year deal which starts on July 1 when his Town contract ends.
The Welshman’s switch marks the end of a four-year stay at Highbury, where he was an ever present for the last two seasons.
North End made their move quickly to sign Maxwell, amid strong interest from Glasgow Rangers and Huddersfield.
He spoke with both of them but opted to make the short move to Preston.
Maxwell, 25, told the Evening Post: “It was not a hard decision to make really.
“Once I found out that Preston were interested in me, I spoke to the manager and goalkeeper coach – everything they said was really positive.
“Preston are a massive club, the fan-base and history speaks volumes.
“The manager and his staff are very experienced and it will be great to work with them.
“It’s an exciting chance to play in the Championship with a team who did very well in their first season up.
“I didn’t really have to think twice when Preston offered me the chance to come here.
“I spent four years at Fleetwood and had a fantastic time there.
“In that time, they got promoted to League One.
“I played at Deepdale against Preston. While it wasn’t the ideal result for me at the time, it was a fantastic experience.
“I have thanked the Fleetwood supporters and staff through Twitter, now I’m focused on Preston.
“The challenge of battling to be No.1 at Preston excites me. It is something I want to try and achieve and I’ll be working hard day in, day out.”
The goalkeeping position will form a key area of PNE’s summer recruitment.
With Anders Lindegaard having returned to West Bromwich Albion at the end of his loan and Chris Kirkland released, it gave Simon Grayson a blank canvass to work with.
Lilywhites boss Grayson said: “Chris is another hungry, young player, with the right attitude and we are looking forward to working with him.
“He has done very well down the road at Fleetwood and this is an opportunity for him to step up to the Championship and show what he is about once more.
“We had two goalkeeping vacancies to fill this summer and we now have one of those filled.
“When we complete the group it will be another competitive position, with everyone fighting for their shirt.”
Maxwell, who started his career at Wrexham, is on standby for the Wales squad for Euro 2016.
He has been capped by Wales at Under-17s through to Under-23s level.