Preston have made their third signing of the summer with the arrival of Exeter defender Jordan Storey.
The 20-year-old made a major breakthrough in League Two in the 2017-18 season and will now be looking to make the step up to the Championship after signing a four-year deal at Deepdale.
Defender seized his chance
Since being handed a chance in the Exeter first team Storey hasn’t looked back. The 20-year-old went from the fringes of the Grecians squad to play-off final starter in the final months of the 2017-18 season. Following his first Football League start in February the defender made 15 appearances and scored two goals after injuries opened the door for him. That all led to playing the full game at Wembley at the end of May, although he couldn’t prevent Coventry winning 3-1 and sealing their place in League One.
Knows where the back of the net is
His first senior goal came in Exeter’s 1-0 win at Port Vale in March. It’s certainly one that catches the eye and isn’t a strike you’d expect from a defender, the fine back-heeled flick ultimately handing his side three points. Storey was then again on target in the come-from-behind 2-1 win over Cheltenham in April. That was a more conventional centre half’s goal, the youngster rising highest from a corner to nod home nine minutes from time and score another winner.
He was ‘seventh choice’ at the start of the year
Storey only made his first Football League start in February, a 1-0 defeat at Luton. It came after a host of injuries depleted the Grecians’ backline, then manager Paul Tisdale admitting the youngster was “probably seventh choice a few months ago” post-match. His first senior appearance had come in a 4-2 Football League Trophy defeat to Oxford in August 2016. He had to wait more than 12 months for his next taste of senior football, coming off the bench in the 1-1 draw at Mansfield in October 2017. Storey then played in a 3-1 home defeat to Chelsea’s Under 21s a month later in the Trophy before his big break came in the new year.
Comes from an academy with plenty of pedigree
Exeter have got a good reputation for producing players who have stepped up to a higher level. Ethan Ampadu is perhaps the most high profile among them having joined Chelsea as a 16-year-old last summer. He has since tasted action in the Premier League and has also gone on to become a full Wales international as a teenager. PNE came up against Ollie Watkins last season after he made the near £2 million move to Brentford 12 months ago. One of his 11 goals in 2017-18 was the winner in a 3-2 victory at Deepdale last October.
Has learned his trade the old-fashioned way
Having come through the Exeter academy, Storey spent time away from St James Park on loan in non-league. Just 12 months before his appearance at Wembley, the defender was helping Southern League South and West side Tiverton Town to their own play-off triumph. He then started last season with Dorchester Town before injuries saw him recalled by his parent club in October. Storey has also spent time with Bideford, his spell in March 2016 coming shortly before he signed on as a professional.