Irish training camp will be home from home for PNE striker Sean Maguire

North End frontman Sean Maguire
North End frontman Sean Maguire

Sean Maguire is feeling in top shape as he prepares to return to familiar turf with Preston next week.

The Lilywhites face AFC Fylde at Mill Farm today and then fly to Ireland tomorrow for a six-day training camp.

They will be based at Fota Island and will use Cork City’s Turners Cross ground to play Cobh Ramblers on Tuesday.

It was during two seasons with Cork that Maguire really found his scoring form going.

And his goals for City in the League of Ireland earned him his move to PNE a year ago.

Last season, Maguire hit 10 goals in his first season playing at Championship level.

It was a campaign which had a four-month interruption because of a hamstring injury which required surgery.

Although he scored six goals on his return, Maguire never regained full sharpness.

Helped by a summer break and plenty of work in the gym, he is relishing his time on the training pitch building up to the start of the season.

“Getting a holiday in the summer was good,” Maguire told the Post.

“I got a bit of a hamstring injury with Ireland after the end of the season, so I was still doing some strength work on it in the gym during the break.

“Now I feel as fit as I have been in a long while.

“Match fitness is different, that will come as we play more games in the next few weeks.”

While the new season is still three weeks off, Maguire thinks the time will fly by.

The challenge of trying to better last term’s seventh-place finish is one the striker cannot wait for.

Said Maguire: “It will soon to be here and before then we have four or five more games to play.

“There’s a lot of hard work to do in training and just at the moment there is barely a day off. The aim is to try and finish in the top six, as a group we will work towards that.

“Can we do it? I don’t see why not.

“We’ve had the advantage of adding a few new lads who can hopefully help us to be there or thereabouts.

“We started last season well and that gave us plenty to build on.

“It was a tough start when you looked at the fixtures but we coped well.

“This season we have a tough start too, we play two of the clubs relegated from the Premier League in the first three games.”

Maguire showed off his sharpness in last week’s 7-0 victory over Bamber Bridge, netting a 20-minute 
hat-trick.

A continuation of that type of form in front of goal from the 24-year-old would bode well for the start of the season.

Tickets are on sale for PNE’s friendlies against West Ham and Burnley, priced £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. Under-11s are free.