Chance for Bamber Bridge ace Jamie Thomas to shine at Preston

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Preston North End are taking a nothing ventured nothing gained approach to taking Bamber Bridge midfielder Jamie Thomas on trial.

There were more than a few eyebrows raised when the 24-year-old was named on the PNE bench for the pre-season friendly at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.

Thomas came on at the start of the second half and headed North End in front within seven minutes.

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Joe Pritchard volleyed the hosts level quarter of an hour later, with the game finishing in a 1-1 draw.

Jamie Thomas (No.34) is congratulated by his PNE team-mates after scoring against Accrington StanleyJamie Thomas (No.34) is congratulated by his PNE team-mates after scoring against Accrington Stanley
Jamie Thomas (No.34) is congratulated by his PNE team-mates after scoring against Accrington Stanley

Thomas is looking to get into the full-time game after a spell in non-league – he joined Brig in the close season after stays at AFC Blackpool and Squires Gate.

He was a scholar at Bolton Wanderers and then joined Burnley’s Under-23s.

He came to North End’s attention playing against them for Brig a fortnight ago.

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Thomas scored twice that day, with him on target seven times for Jamie Milligan’s side in pre-season.

Last week he trained for a couple of days with Oldham, before PNE offered him the chance to join up with them at a meeting on Friday night.

This week Thomas will train with Frankie McAvoy’s squad at Euxton.

PNE head coach McAvoy told iFollow: “It was great to give him 45 minutes.

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“Jamie did really well for the goal and I was delighted for him. He deserved the opportunity and we want to give him that platform.

“He is a little bit rusty in terms of the level he is coming off, but you never know if you don’t give them the opportunity and chances and, thankfully, we have given him that chance.”

PNE taking Thomas on trial is not part of their search to bolster their front line.

They remain on the look out for a striker and have five weeks to do business before the transfer window closes.

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The goals haven’t exactly been flowing in pre-season, bar the 8-3 win over Brig.

North End drew 1-1 with St Johnstone, won 1-0 at Celtic and lost 1-0 to Bolton ahead of the draw at Accrington.

Ched Evans was missing at the weekend due to blistered feet but should return to face Manchester City at City’s Academy Stadium tomorrow.

Matt Olosunde was another absentee, the summer recruit still recovering from the kick he got on his Achilles and calf at St Johnstone.

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The right-back is expected to be back in training in 7-10 days time.

PNE are still waiting for the green light from Leicester for keeper Daniel Iversen to join them on loan. He played 45 minutes of the Foxes’ first pre-season friendly at Burton on Saturday, with Leicester’s two first-choice keepers yet to start training after the Euros.

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