Jordan Storey admits his run in Preston’s team this season surpassed expectations.
The centre-half finished the campaign with 32 games under his belt.
That included a run of 23 starts from December through to the season’s finale.
Storey’s emergence on to the first-team scene saw him voted PNE’s Young Player of the Year.
With Ben Davies winning the Player of the Year and the Players’ Player awards, it was a good season for defenders.
This time 12 months ago, Storey was still a few weeks away from signing for North End from League Two outfit Exeter in a £500,000 deal.
That has proved money well spent, with more to come from the 21-year-old.
Storey told the Post: “It’s been a good first season here, I’ve enjoyed it. I came here last summer, played a few games and then went out of the side again.
“Around Christmas I got my chance again and I have managed to make the position my own since then.
“It’s been nice to string a lot of games together and learn as I went along.
“Being completely honest, I didn’t expect things to have happened in the way they have.
“To have played the amount of games I did was a surprise but very welcome.
“I learned as I’ve gone along, listened to the advice I’ve been given.
“The partnership with Ben Davies has worked really well, we understand each other’s game well. There’s a good balance there and across the back four which hopefully will improve in time.
“Ben has been brilliant, he deserved the Player of theYear awards because you can see on the pitch what he does for the team.”
Storey’s own award was one he was proud to receive. He knows he has plenty to live up to next season.
Said Storey: “When I got the award I was delighted, it was a big moment.
“What makes it special is that the fans vote for it so it’s nice that they appreciate what they see of me on the pitch.
“I know that I need to push on next season, as we all do here.
“We have got the players here to help take the club on and I’m sure the squad will be strengthened too.
“This season there were two strong runs of results when we really showed what we were about.
“We need to show that sort of consistency next season but across more games.
“What will be important too is making a strong start, that is something we didn’t have this time and it held us back to a certain extent.
“Our aim is to learn from this season, good and bad, and take that into next time.”