Ex-United man feels at home with PNE
Josh Harrop already feels right at home at Preston North End despite an unusual start to life at Deepdale.
The versatile 21-year-old is settling into life with the Lilywhites after making the big decision to leave Manchester United.
Having put pen to paper on a four-year deal, Harrop arrived for his first day of training only to find manager Simon Grayson was heading to the North East to join Sunderland.
Alex Neil has since arrived in the PNE hotseat and with the players coming towards the end of a week’s training in Ireland, Harrop feels things have slotted into place quickly.
“I’ve settled in brilliantly,” said the forward, who scored on his Manchester United debut on the final day of last season.
“I’m getting on with all the lads perfectly and everything is going well. Everyone has made me feel like I’ve been here for a long time.
“I’ve done my initiation song and got that one out of the way!
“It’s been good to get away with the lads when I’m still getting to know them.
“Being here in Ireland, we see each other every minute and there are plenty of things planned for the week.”
Harrop is not the first player to swap Old Trafford for Deepdale in recent seasons and having some familiar faces around has made the transition a simple one for the England youth international.
“I know Ben Pearson, Liam Grimshaw and Marnick Vermijl,” he said.
“I played with all of them in United’s reserves and won a couple of leagues with them.
“Having won trophies with them has helped me settle in.
“I also know Callum Robinson from England’s Under-20s.”
The only frustration for Harrop has been a calf injury which has been managed by PNE’s medical staff in his first couple of weeks at the club.
He missed the opening pre-season friendly against Bamber Bridge but is set to return to training today.
Harrop could therefore make his Preston bow at hometown club Stockport County on Saturday.
If not, the former United youngster is confident he will feature against Morecambe or Accrington next week.
“I’ve just had some fatigue in my calf,” he said.
“Hopefully I should be back running today and we’ll just see how it goes.
“If I’m not risked against Stockport then hopefully it won’t be too long.
“I’m dying to play – it’s all we want to do.
“I’ve had a niggle, which is frustrating but I should be fine.
“Watching the first friendly, I wanted to be out there because of the goals being scored. It’s a game I wish I’d been playing in.”