Ben Davies speaks of his pride at double Player of the Year honour

Ben Davies says being voted Preston’s Player of the Year by both fans and team-mates has made his 12-year association with the club feel so special.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 6:00 am
Ben Davies with Preston's Player of the Year trophy (photo courtesy of PNE)

The centre-half lifted the Sir Tom Finney Trophy after PNE supporters chose him as their best player of 2018/19.

Davies was also the choice of the dressing room, winning the Players’ Player of the Year honour.

It has been a long and at times rocky road to this point for the 23-year-old.

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He joined PNE’s academy at the age of 11, travelling down three times a week from home town Barrow for training.

After making his Preston bow at 17, Davies had five loan spells away from Deepdale.

Davies told the Post: “To get these awards from the fans and players, I’m so happy.

“To receive the fans’ award having been at Preston since I was 11, means so much, I have had different hurdles to get over and reached milestones.

“It’s nice for my parents who brought me down here three times a week for four or five years.”

Davies was presented with the awards after the 3-3 draw with Sheffield Wednesday at Deepdale on Saturday.

His centre-half partner Jordan Storey won the Young Player of the Year award, with Adam O’Reilly named Scholar of the Year.

Fans voted Alan Browne’s volley against Bolton as their goal of the season, while Louis Moult was PNE’s Community Player of the Year.

Davies’ first-team debut came in January 2013 but just a handful more appearances came at Preston until Alex Neil’s appointment in 2017.

“I was grateful to be given that chance when I was 17, it was the start of my pathway,” said Davies.

“Then I got opportunities to go out on loan.

“I struggled at Preston for a while but this manager came in and gave me my chance, one which I have been taking.

“I don’t think anything has particularly clicked this year, it’s just my progression and learning from last season.

“You are always learning, there were things I learned against Sheffield Wednesday.

“I am not the complete package by any means, I want to keep working and want to keep improving.”

PNE’s draw with the Owls was done without midfielder Ben Pearson.

Available after a ban, he had a family bereavement at the end of last week and North End manager Alex Neil was mindful that a booking would trigger another suspension.

Said Neil: “Ben had a family bereavement and didn’t train on Friday.

“I also had the booking at the back of my mind and I would be kicking myself if we were missing him at the start of next season.

“The next season is the real deal, we want to start it well.”