Frankie McAvoy ready to give youngsters a chance at Preston North End

Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy thinks it is important that the younger players get a chance to train in the first-team environment.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 8:00 am

Second year scholar Lewis Leigh together with first years Noah Mawene and Josh Seary have joined in pre-season training at Euxton over the last few days.

McAvoy wants to run the rule over them and give them a taste of working with the more experienced players.

Midfielder Leigh made the bench once last season against Millwall and had been coached at Under-16s level by Paul Gallagher in the academy.

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Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy (photo courtesy of PNE)
Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy (photo courtesy of PNE)

This is McAvoy’s first chance to look at Mawene and Seary in training, the pair having joined as first-year scholars but will sign pro deals when they turn 17.

McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “These three have done well in the academy and I always like to see the young boys in the first-team environment when we have got the space and opportunity to do so.

“They’ve trained very well so far and they will be with us for a bit of time.”

The trio could feature in some of the pre-season games in the weeks ahead, with the first friendly on Saturday at Bamber Bridge.

“It will depend on numbers, we will see what we have got,” said McAvoy.

“If they are not starting in the team I can have them on the side ready to come on.

“I’m hopeful that we can have a look at them in the pre-season games.”

North End’s four new pros Jacob Holland-Wilkinson, Joe Rodwell-Grant, Lewis Coulton and Oliver Lombard, have started pre-season with the academy at Springfields.

McAvoy explained that he had seen them training with the first team last season as they earned their pro deals.

Said McAvoy: “The four new pros are up at the academy training.

“I know what they can do already because they trained with us last season and they did very well because they have got pro contracts.

“I just wanted to see these three other lads here because I’d not seen a lot of them.

“We had Lewis Leigh up once or twice, I wanted to see him again.”

As pre-season goes on, McAvoy will decide which of the youngsters stay on in the first-team squad.

It is flexible, with the young lads not having to be registered in the 25-man senior squad because of their age.

Reflecting on the first few days of training, McAvoy said: “It’s been excellent, thoroughly enjoyable.

“It was roasting on the first day but more my type of weather in the couple of days after that – a bit more overcast.

“Seeing Patrick Bauer and Declan Rudd out there again has been great.”