Exclusive column: Bailey Wright

Bailey Wright
Bailey Wright
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I was delighted to make my 150th appearance for Preston North End in the win against Hull City earlier this week and hopefully there are many more games to come for me.

John Welsh reached the same landmark too, so it was nice to share the moment.

A younger Bailey Wright in Preston North End colours

A younger Bailey Wright in Preston North End colours

When I made my North End debut at Stockport in August 2010, I honestly didn’t expect to go on and be in this position.

Looking back at my debut, I was a bit chubbier then, looked much younger, my nose was a lot straighter and the wig was a lot longer!

I initially got my chance in the first-team due to injuries to other players.

Once they came back, I was then on the fringes on the squad, getting a seat on the bench now and then and the occasional game.

We had a few changes of manager, so it took time for me to cement a place. I didn’t get a regular run of games until I started playing at left-back under Graham Westley – I played the last 10 or 12 games of the season when he came in.

That is when the appearances started racking up and started the ball rolling to where I’m up to now.

The summer after I’d made that block of appearances was an interesting one to say the least!

It looked like I might have been off and in a way, I’m grateful it happened.

Sometimes, things like that make you hungrier.

Fortunately I ended up staying and things have turned out the way they have.

That summer was a complicated time, it was what it was. It is behind me now and maybe I’m better for the experience.

What was good about reaching 150 appearances when I did, was the fact we beat Hull and that I have a lot of family over from Australia at the moment.

Hull have one of the strongest squads in the Championship and for them to be able to bring on the substitutes they did, underlined that.

But we managed to beat them and should have won by more goals, such was the way we dominated in the first half.

It got a bit stressful in that last five minutes and Welshy had to clear that late Hull chance off the line.

We got the rub of the green with that one, that said, the ball didn’t cross the line and there is the video evidence to prove it.

The Hull game was the first I had played for a little while and football is sometimes about being patient.

I had the frustration of being sent-off against Blackburn, that being my second red of the season which annoyed me.

The lads did really well in the two games I missed with the suspension, so it meant I had to wait for an injury to one of them to get back in.

Typically, I was ill when my chance came but I got out there and got through.

I actually didn’t feel too bad during the game, it was just afterwards that I was struggling a bit.

Now we turn our attention to playing Rotherham who will be tough opponents.

We will have to produce another good performance if we are to get anything out of Saturday’s game and the aim is to win back-to-back games at Deepdale.

At the moment, I have got a house-full of guests with the family being over.

My mum and dad are here, my two sisters and their partners and my older sister’s three children.

They are all staying at my place which means there were on temporary beds all over the lounge floor.

It is all a bit hectic being under one roof and it is great to have them here for Christmas.

The three kids are being mascots for the Rotherhame game as part of their Christmas presents.

The two older ones know what is it all about, although the younger one might not quite understand it.

I’m sure they will all enjoy the occasion.

As we welcome in 2016, I can look back on 2015 as a fantastic year, both from a football and personal point of view.

Wembley was a memorable day, it was my first time there and the same for a lot of the boys in the squad.

To win in the manner we did was superb and the occasion will live with me forever,

On a personal note, I got engaged in 2015 which was a lovely occasion.

Hopefully, 2016 can be just as memorable both on and off the pitch.