PNE pair up for gongs

Josh Brownhill made a big impression last season
Josh Brownhill made a big impression last season
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Josh Brownhill and Joe Garner are flying the flag for Preston in the MBNA North West Football Awards.

The Deepdale pair have been nominated for honours and voting is already with supporters getting their chance to chose the region’s top performers on the pitch.

Garner is PNE’s nomination in the League One Player of the Year category.

It was an award won by his team-mate John Welsh last year, and the striker’s 24 goals in 2013/14 will make him one of the favourites.

He has made a strong start to the current campaign too, netting three goals in his first three starts.

And this week Garner signed a new two-year contract to keep him at North End until the summer of 2016, ending speculation over his Deepdale future.

Midfielder Brownhill has been nominated in the division’s Rising Star category.

The teenager has enjoyed a terrific rise over the last 12 months, breaking into the North End first-team squad as a 17-year-old.

He has started the first four games of the campaign in the Preston engine room after enjoying a fine pre-season.

Brownhill, 18, will go head to head with Ben Garratt (Crewe), Jonson Clarke-Harris (Oldham), Jamie Allen (Rochdale) and Conor McLaughlin (Fleetwood) in the League One voting.

McLaughlin kicked off his career at North End, one which stalled when he suffered a serious injury in 2011.

But his move to Fleetwood has rejuvenated him and in the summer he won a call-up to the Northern Ireland squad.

The Cod Army right-back is also nominated in the Player of the Year category with Garner, Matt Tootle (Crewe), James Wesolowski (Oldham) and Ian Henderson (Rochdale).

In League Two, Andy Fleming is the Morecambe nomination for Player of the Year.

And Shrimps defender Aaron McGowan has been nominated for the Rising Star award.

Former PNE winger Danny Mayor, now with Bury, is the Shakers’ selection in the Player of the Year category.

Luke George is Southport’s nomination in both the Conference’s Player of the Year and Rising Star voting.

In the Premier League, Seamus Coleman (Everton), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool), Yaya Toure (Manchester City) and David De Gea (Manchester United) will battle out Player of the Year.

Jordan Rhodes (Player of the Year) and Tom Cairney (Rising Star) are Blackburn’s nominations in the Championship voting.

Fans can vote online for their favourites at and have until October 24 to do so.

The MBNA North West Football Awards will take place at Lancashire Cricket Club’s Point venue on Tuesday, November 18.

Last year, PNE club captain Welsh was named League One’s Player of the Year for his performances in the 2012/13 season.

Morecambe frontman Jack Redshaw won the League Two award, with defender-turned pundit Jamie Carragher voted as the Premier League’s top performer in the region.