Preston boss Alex Neil has pointed to Paul Gallagher as a fine example of how a player’s fortune can change during the course of a season.
The Lilywhites’ opening pre-season friendly against Bamber Bridge on Saturday will signal the start of the fight for places in the team.
That battle will intensify as the season’s curtain raiser with Queens Park Rangers gets nearer.
Neil admits some players will be ‘nailed on’ even at this stage to start on August 4 but that plenty of places remain up for grabs.
And should someone not start the opening game, they can look at how Gallagher played his way into Neil’s plans last season.
He told the Post: “You will always have nailed-on starters but things can change really quickly.
“Paul Gallagher wasn’t in the team often for the first three months of last season. It was down to Gally that he got back in and missed very few games after the first third of the season.
“He churned out 20 or so appearances and that was purely down to him.
“I would say that is proof to anyone that if perform well, it doesn’t matter how old, how young, how inexperienced you are.
“The simple fact is that my job is to pick the best players who are performing.
“Ben Davies is another – he didn’t start the first couple of games but then forced his way into the side.
“After that, Ben played most of our games.”
Gallagher made 22 starts in the Championship and 10 substitute appearances last season, scoring twice.
That involvement earned the 33-year-old the offer a new one-year contract which he signed last month.
Meanwhile, there has been a change of venue for Preston’s friendly with Irish side Cobh Ramblers on July 17.
The game will now be played at Cork City’s Turners Cross because work is being on Cobh’s pitch.