David Buchanan is looking forward to doing battle with a fit-again Scott Laird for the Preston North End left-back shirt next season.
It promises to be a keenly-contested fight, both players having shown at different times last term what they are capable of.
Laird, in the main, got the nod earlier in the campaign, although played a few games further forward on the left wing with Buchanan behind him.
A broken leg brought his season to a premature end in November, but he will be fit to join in pre-season training.
Buchanan initially replaced Laird after the injury, although it was not until Simon Grayson’s appointment in February that he got a regular run at left-back. He played the last 15 games of the season and caught the eye with some strong performances.
Buchanan told the Evening Post: “This club is blessed with some good players and left-back is a position where we are strong.
“Scott Laird and myself are two experienced players and I think we’ve both shown what we can bring to the table.
“Last season we probably played as many games as each other.
“It’s important we have that sort of competition all over the pitch. Scott and I are great friends on and off the pitch. If he plays I support him and vice-versa.
“Next season we will both be looking to start, so it should be a good battle.
“There might be times when we both play or the gaffer may decide to choose someone else ahead of us.
“Ben Davies plays at left-back too and he’ll be pushing us both.”
Buchanan, 27, was pleased to get the chance to shine under Grayson.
He did not feel he got a fair crack of the whip under Graham Westley to show his true worth.
Said Buchanan: “As a professional, you need belief and consistency.
“When you are doing well, you need to be told that.
“There were times last season when I thought I played well but was still wondering whether I’d be playing the next week.
“Under the new gaffer I was playing well and being rewarded by being picked for the team again.
“Simon Grayson hardly changed the back four –it was the same defence whenever possible.
“It’s no coincidence that results improved as a r esult of having a settled side.”
Buchanan is currently enjoying the summer break – he is recharging the batteries ahead of the start of pre-season training in late June.
He said: “It was a long season and you need your rest.
“Everyone knows we did a lot of training and played a number of games, and these first couple of weeks have been a case of putting the feet up.
“I’ll start easing myself back into it soon, but it’s important you’ve had the necessary rest.”