Josh Ginnelly targets first-team spot at Preston North End

North End winger Josh Ginnelly
North End winger Josh Ginnelly

Josh Ginnelly thinks he is steadily getting to grips with what is being asked of him at Preston North End.

The 22-year-old winger made only five appearances as a substitute for the Lilywhites after signing in January from Walsall.

Ginnelly’s capture was seen as a longer-term project rather than him being a player who would go straight into the first team.

But he is hoping to be able to make more of an impact in the season ahead and become a prominent member of the North End squad.

Ginnelly said: “The gaffer, Frankie McAvoy and Steve Thompson are all working with me on my game.

“I’m still learning and still taking things on board, that is how you develop as a player.

“Without a doubt I feel a different player to the one who first arrived here in January. It’s not just my work with the ball but without it too, my positioning, the way I try and receive the ball. I’ve got a long way to go but I’m more than confident that this season I will be involved a lot.”

Ginnelly started his career at Shrewsbury before moving to Burnley and being part of their Under-23s set-up.

The Clarets loaned him out four times before he joined Walsall last summer.

His form there in the first half of last season caught the eye of PNE, who made him their first January signing.

Ginnelly had to wait until April for his Preston debut, which came on Gentry Day at West Bromwich.

“When I signed I knew that I would have to be patient,” said Ginnelly.

“A lot of players who move in January don’t play as much because you’ve got a shorter time to understand what is needed from you.

“I was one like that, it has taken a while for things to sink in and understand – perhaps it wasn’t happening at first. In every training session the gaffer is helping me and passing on advice.

“I’m looking forward to pushing on this season, trying to force a way into the starting line-up.

“That is the aim of every player and I’m no different.”

This week’s hot and humid weather has been a test for the fitness of Ginnelly and his North End colleagues.

But they take the view that training in the heat will serve them well during the season.

Said Ginnelly: “It’s been hard work in the last few days, very hot.

“When it’s so hot you find it harder to get your breath back and your body has to work that bit harder. That’s no bad thing, it will push your levels up.”

Preston are in action at Deepdale this afternoon (3pm) against Newcastle. Prices are £10 for adults, £5 concessions and £1 for under-16s.