Alan Browne ready to kick on again after being named Preston's player of the year

Player of the year Alan Browne with manager Alex Neil and owner Trevor Hemmings. Picture: Ian Robinson/PNE
Player of the year Alan Browne with manager Alex Neil and owner Trevor Hemmings. Picture: Ian Robinson/PNE

Alan Browne says he’s ready to kick on again next year after a breakthrough season with Preston.

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The Irish midfielder capped a fine campaign in the middle of the park by picking up three gongs in the club’s end of year awards.

The 23-year-old, who scored nine goals as Alex Neil’s side finished seventh in the Championship, was named Player of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year and also won the goal of the season prize.

While delighted with his hat-trick, Browne admitted the players’ player of the year prize was the most special of the lot.

“I wasn’t sure if I’d get any award today but I was really grateful when I heard my name called out for the players’ player award,” he said.

Browne hands a shirt to a fan after PNE ended their season with a 2-1 win over Burton

Browne hands a shirt to a fan after PNE ended their season with a 2-1 win over Burton

“They are the people that see you every day. You can an off day in a match and the fans might not think as highly of you but the boys see what you in training and how hard you’re working.

“The award means a lot to me but the supporters one means a hell of a lot too.

“It’s a great achievement for me, it shows I’ve been playing well in games and not just in training.

“That’s something I’ve needed to do because the boys have been aware of what I can but it’s about taking the next step and showing up when needed, when the pressure’s on and when everyone’s rooting for you.

“That’s when you need to turn up. I feel I can improve even more on that and really kick on next season.”

The goal of the season prize came thanks to his 45-yard strike in the 3-0 win over Cardiff back in September.

Three of the nine in contention for the award came from Browne, his sweetly-struck effort in the FA Cup against Wycombe and chip against Bristol City also nominated.

“I was banking on the Wycombe one, that would have been my pick!” he said.

“I was just grateful to have three goals in there, it shows I’m doing something right.

“The award is really special for me but I’d take any goal.

“I’d take a tap in which I probably haven’t done as much this season as scoring good goals.

“That’s something I’ll look to do, burst to get into the box more. I think that’s where I can add more goals to my game.

“I’ve shown I can hit balls from outside the box. It’s about taking the next step to get in the box and sniff out little bits, pull backs and things like that.

“I can help the team even more that way.”

Elsewhere, Ben Davies was named Young Player of the Year after impressing at the heart of the defence while the departing John Welsh was named Community Player of the Year in the awards ceremony held following the 2-1 win over Burton.