Mads Frokjaer shares his Preston North End story so far from lost luggage to new tactics

Preston North End’s Mads FrokjaerPreston North End’s Mads Frokjaer
Preston North End’s Mads Frokjaer | CameraSport - Dave Howarth
The midfielder speaks to the Lancashire Post for the first time since becoming a PNE player

It’s been quite the six weeks for Mads Frøkjær, whose start to life at Preston North End has been highly encouraging on the pitch yet pretty turbulent off it. The 24-year-old has left his home country, endured unwanted travel stress, traded bike for car and scored his first goal in English football.

And what a moment that was, right in front of the Alan Kelly Town End against Sunderland: an ice cool finish to win the game for his new team and endear himself with the Deepdale faithful. Frokjaer had already proven a likable addition, given his pre-season flair and humble character in interviews.

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Extremely calm natured, he has taken it all in his stride. Football has been at the centre of Frokjaer’s life from a young age, with his family mad on the sport and his interest in all facets of the game deep. Mads - pronounced with a silent ‘D’ it should be noted - has had some tests along the way, but is embracing life living in Manchester.

“It’s pretty similar to Denmark here,” he told the Lancashire Post. “The biggest difference is that I have a car now. I just used to use my bike, because we were training in the centre of the city. There was never any real need to have a car, but over here I need it. It’s alright, I just take it easy.

“(Emil Riis) is here, a fellow Dane, and he helped me a bit with some practical things - making dinner for me at the beginning and stuff. He’s a good guy and it’s nice to have somebody to speak Danish to. I have been walking around Manchester; wandering around the city and seeing what it has to offer.

“There are some nice restaurants. I have no furniture yet! I have a bed, so it’s a bit boring in the apartment. (My suitcase was) two weeks late... not the best start. Of course, you like to have habits and so you’ve got to create new habits over here. I do miss my friends; I would normally get on my bike and go to see them after training to say hello.

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“But this is what everybody dreams of - coming to England to play football - so I try not to be too sad about leaving friends and family. I just think around the world, you grow up watching the Premier League because English football is broadcast everywhere. I knew a bit about (PNE). I have two younger brothers and we are all pretty big football nerds.

“We knew about the old times, when the club was really big and the first Invincibles. I didn’t know where Preston was located, but I knew about the club - also from FIFA and Football Manager. I don’t really game too much anymore; I am just chilling to be fair. But, you know some things about most clubs over here.”

Frokjaer is relatively reserved, yet not remotely afraid of seeking information from Ryan Lowe and his coaching staff. He wants to understand the game in as much depth as possible and will ask as many questions as needed. The Dane is content with his start to life in the Championship, even if there has been some new things thrown his way in a football sense.

“I think it’s pretty straightforward, the way we’re playing right now,” said Frokjaer. “Of course, every day you learn something new, but it’s mainly been the difference in tactics - because they change a bit from game-to-game. On the ball, it has just been getting on it and trying to help the team, so I will continue to do that.

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“It is a bit different, with the formation and the coaches. Again, though, football is football and you should be able to manage quite quickly with what the new guy wants. I am a person who has a lot of questions. I like to know what to do and why to do it. That is just natural for me; some coaches like it and some think I am a pain in the ass. I’m just trying to learn. I think the last two years, I have really wanted to try something new.

“I have finally succeeded and been allowed to go to a new club. I didn’t really expect it, but yeah I’ve been ready and waiting for the opportunity. I am happy it finally came. The training match, when I scored two, helped me to relax because it was a good performance. But, the goal against Sunderland in the second game was of course important, just to get it out the way.”

There is certainly ambition there, too. PNE paid a seven-figure fee to land Frokjaer from Odense and, while he’s taking it one match at a time for now, there is an inner-drive to keep progressing and not waste a second. The Premier League is a stage he would love to play on one day.

“Yeah, of course,” said Frokjaer. “Why not? It is only one division higher. But, we will see in the future - right now I have nothing on my mind other than Preston and trying to win games here. It is traditional, British football. I am happy to be playing from the start and I think I’ve been helping the team create some chances, but there is still room for improvement.

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“When we play a bit more direct, I still need to be involved even if it’s not my favourite aspect of the game. I’ll just keep my head in the game even if it isn’t going my way. But, we are winning, so everything is good, I’ve scored a goal and got a cheeky assist for the one off Keano. I just need to be in the game more when it goes high and long; ready to pick up those second balls and not fall asleep.”

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