PNE’s Josh set for Wembley appearance

Josh Brownhill in action for Barnsley
Josh Brownhill in action for Barnsley
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Preston North End midfielder Josh Brownhill will make his second Wembley appearance in two months this weekend before attention turns to his future.

The 20-year-old is likely to start for Barnsley in the League One play-off final against Millwall tomorrow.

He has been on loan with the Yorkshire outfit since January, helping their dramatic climb from the relegation zone into the top six.

Last month, Brownhill picked up a Wembley winners’ medal when Barnsley lifted the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Where his future lies, should become clearer once the final has been played.

In many ways, it is a win-win situation for Brownhill.

He has been offered a new two-year contract by North End, with his current deal running out at the end of June.

Barnsley are keen to keep him, especially if they were to get promoted.

But it could very well be that Bristol City is his new home next season.

It was City head coach Lee Johnson who signed Brownhill for Barnsley at the start of the year when he was in charge at Oakwell.

Johnson took the Ashton Gate job in February.

Preston are yet to hear back from Brownhill or his representatives since making their contract offer.

If he was to turn the offer down and go elsewhere, the Lilywhites would be entitled to youth compensation.

Brownhill joined PNE’s academy as a 15-year-old, having been released by Manchester United, with him breaking into the PNE first-team during the 2013-14 campaign when he was 17.

He has made 38 starts and 26 substitute appearances for North End, scoring six goals.

A lack of first-team chances this season saw him loaned to Barnsley, with him making 26 starts there.

PNE’s assistant manager Glynn Snodin predicts victory for Barnsley and Brownhill in Sunday’s final.

He is also backing Sheffield Wednesday and AFC Wimbledon to come through the play-offs in the Championship and League Two respectively.

Snodin said: “If I was stick my neck out, I would go for Wednesday, Barnsley and AFC Wimbledon to win the three play-off finals.

“Barnsley have been on a great run under Paul Heckinbottom and have good momentum.

“With young Josh being over there with them, that gives us added interest,

“It has done the kid the world of good to go on loan and get regular football rather than being on the bench here.

“Josh has already been to Wembley this season in the JPT and good luck to him.

“With the Championship final, I just have a fancy for Sheffield Wednesday.

“Hull are solid and hard to break down but Wednesday have a couple of potential match-winners in their side.

“It will be close but I can see Wednesday having the edge.”