Young striker Jordan Hugill is determined to carve his way to the forefront of Simon Grayson’s plans for Preston North End.
The 23-year-old has not featured for North End since he was sent off for violent conduct and suffered a knee injury in North End’s defeat at Walsall back in Septemeber.
I want to be a big part of the manager’s plans next season and get myself in the position to be a good Championship player.
But the striker is brimming with confidence after a successful loan spell at Hartlepool United.
Hugill scored the goal that clinched their League Two survival and after being part of North End’s Wembley celebrations the forward is raring to go.
Whilst many players are off on a well deserved sunshine break after the play-off final win, Hugill is working hard back home in the North East.
He is aiming to be in tip-top shape when he return for pre-season training and will be ready to prove he can cut it in the Championship.
He said: “I’m excited to get going.
“I want to keep improving, keep getting better. I want to be a big part of the manager’s plans next season and get myself in the position to be a good Championship player.
“I want to do well and that is why I am working hard over pre-season.
“I have had a long time out with injury and I want to be in the best shape I can when the season kicks off.”
The striker has a unique momento from Wembley – a set of stitches on his head.
He said: “I got a bit carried away with the celebrations in the dressing room.
“I got a bit excited and went up for a header with my medal and I needed to get stitches.”
In just over two years – despite a six-month injury lay-off – Hugill has made the jump from non-league to the Championship.
The forward reveals he has thrived due to the education he is receiving from watching and training with experienced strikers Kevin Davies, Jermaine Beckford and Joe Garner.
The trio have given the young forward tips and are inspiring him to reach the top.
He said: “I get on really well with them all.
“I spent a lot of time with Joe when I was injured.
“We were both out at the same time. Having people like Joe, Jermaine and Kevin in the dressing room and training is a great learning experience.
“To be up and coming and see the talent and learn different things off them is great. The main thing they’ve taught me is just to be confident.
“You watch them in training, Jermaine is a natural finisher but it is seeing the little stuff that makes a big difference like his movement.
“It is the same with Joe. Defenders on the pitch don’t know where he is because his movement off the ball is so good.
“To have that experience of being around them and big Kevin Davies is amazing. Hopefully I can prove myself as a Championship player. Hopefully I can establish myself as a Championship player.”