Gloves are off for keepers at PNE

Summer signing Chris MaxwellSummer signing Chris Maxwell
Summer signing Chris Maxwell
Chris Maxwell is ready to battle hard to be Preston's first-choice goalkeeper.

The Welshman has Anders Lindegaard for competition, with both shot-stoppers secured on permanent deals to give the keeping role stability after a heavy reliance on loans in recent seasons.

Lindegaard is the senior of the pair and certainly more experienced in terms of the level he has played at.

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However, Maxwell is not short of game-time, arriving at Deepdale after an unbroken run of matches for previous club Fleetwood stretching back more than two years.

Said Maxwell: “I want to play here, I have come here to play and I will do everything I possibly can to make sure I’m playing.

“The competition is fierce but goalkeepers are a different breed in how that competition is viewed.

“All the keepers I’ve been fighting for a place with in recent years, I became friends with.

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“It is nothing personal, you just have two or three keepers desperate to play football and there is nothing more healthy for a side than competition.

“I’m looking to build my relationship with the other two keepers here and I’m thoroughly enjoying working with them.”

Maxwell was PNE’s first signing of the summer, agreeing a Bosman switch soon after the end of last season.

He had a short spell training with the Wales squad in Portugal ahead of the Euros.

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Forcing his way into the Welsh set-up on a more regular basis is an ambition. The 25-year-old said: “My bread and butter is Preston, helping to try and get us higher up the league.

“If the call from Wales comes, that is a bonus.

“I enjoyed my time with them in the summer, I was there to push the other three keepers and to make a good impression on the manager as an individual.

“It is an exciting time for Wales and I want to be part of that going forward.”

Maxwell is a week into 
pre-season training with North End and in line to play a part in tomorrow night’s friendly at Bamber Bridge.

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His training with Lindegaard and Mat Hudson, is overseen by PNE goalkeeper coach Alan Kelly.

“It has been fantastic to start work with Alan – he’s a top guy,” said Maxwell.

“He has a lot of experience as a goalkeeping coach and before that as a player.

“I’m thoroughly looking forward to working with him for the next few years.

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“I got a massive reference about Alan from David Lucas, who was my keeper coach at Fleetwood and obviously knows him well.

“Even though we only came back a few days ago, I already feel at home here.

“There is a strong spirit between the players and the spirit between the players and staff is really close.

Meanwhile, striker Jack Ryan who was released by North End last month, has joined Bradford Park Avenue.