PNE in numbers: Maxwell reaches his half-century at Preston
Chris Maxwell has not looked back since forcing his way into the Preston team 12 months ago.
Last September, the Welshman got the nod to start PNE’s EFL Cup tie away to Bournemouth.
He produced some fine saves in the 3-2 victory and kept hold of the gloves for the Championship game against Wigan which followed.
Maxwell has worn the goalkeeping gloves for every game since bar one – the 6-0 drubbing at Newcastle.
Last Saturday’s 3-1 win at Birmingham City was his 50th appearance in North End colours.
He kept 16 clean sheets in those, five of them having come this season.
Maxwell is very much the modern goalkeeper, with a liking to venture out of his box to sweep up behind the back four.
That allows North End to hold a higher defensive line, with the defenders knowing they have someone to fill the space behind.
The 27-year-old has risen steadily up the footballing pyramid.
Wrexham were his first club, with them loaning him out to Welsh Premier League side Connah’s Quay Nomads for first-team experience as a teenager.
He came back to make his Wrexham debut at the age of 18 and played 78 games for the Racecourse Ground side.
In 2012, Maxwell signed for Fleetwood Town but had to wait to play there.
They loaned him back to Wrexham and then out to Cambridge United in order to gain further experience.
But he didn’t look back once he returned to the Cod Army, and was a permanent fixture between the posts between February 2014 and May 2016.
In that time, Maxwell made 124 appearances for Fleetwood.
Preston swooped for his services in the summer of 2016 when his Fleetwood contract ran out.
Signed initally as cover for Anders Lindegaard, he was told nevertheless to provide stern competition for the Dane.
The fact he displaced him less than two months into last season speaks volumes for Maxwell.
One puzzling omission from his CV is recognition at international level.
He has long been tipped to break into the Wales squad but the call has yet to come.
Maxwell did train with Wales in Portugal ahead of Euro 2016.
But the call-up to a squad for a senior international game has yet to come.
Maxwell’s cover at North End is currently provided by teenager Mat Hudson due to an injury suffered in July by Declan Rudd.
With thanks to Martin Atherton for the stats.