Jamie Thomas deserved his chance with Preston North End says boss
Jamie Thomas deserved the offer of a contract with Preston North End after an impressive trial spell, says head coach Frankie McAvoy.
The 24-year-old attacking midfielder signed a one-year deal with PNE late last week and was on the bench for the season’s opener against Hull City at Deepdale.
He spent a fortnight as a trialist at North End, playing in the friendlies at Accrington and Wigan.
Thomas had caught the eye playing for Bamber Bridge against PNE in a friendly on July 10.
McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “Jamie has done great, really well.
“We have to be mindful that he has not been in the full-time environment for quite a long time.
“But he’s come in, done well and deserves this chance we have given him.
“We’ll work on getting him fully match sharp, fitter than he is at the moment, and get him fully prepared for the squad.”
McAvoy found a place for him on the bench against Hull although Thomas did not make it on to the pitch.
He sees the former Wales youth international as an attacking midfielder, Thomas’ arrival not stopping the ongoing hunt for a striker.
Said McAvoy: “He deserved to be in the squad and on the bench on Saturday.
“Unfortunately I couldn’t get him on to get some game time because we needed others to come on.
“We’ve a lot of competition for that attacking midfielder area – Daniel Johnson, Brad Potts who we brought on at the weekend, Jamie and Josh Harrop.
“Jamie is an attacking player who I would say is better hitting the box from deeper runs rather than already being up there in the penalty area.
“I feel he can add something to the squad and that is why he’s been offered a deal.”
Thomas started his career with Bolton Wanderers, doing a two-year scholarship there.
He twice made the bench for Championship matches with Bolton.
After being released by Wanderers, Thomas had a spell with Burnley Under-23s.
Thomas dropped out of professional football for personal reasons and played in non-league at Squires Gate and AFC Blackpool.
In the summer he signed for Bamber Bridge, joining up with Jamie Milligan who had coached him earlier in his career. His stay was to last just a month or so, with PNE making their move.