PNE keeper’s Euro 2016 dream

Chris Maxwell is joining up with the Welsh squad for a training camp in the Algarve
Chris Maxwell is joining up with the Welsh squad for a training camp in the Algarve
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Preston North End goalkeeper Chris Maxwell has been given a slight glimmer of hope of going to the Euros with Wales.

Maxwell, who joined the Lilywhites last week on a Bosman from Fleetwood, was flying out to Portugal today to meet up with the Welsh party.

He will be part of a 30-man training squad, to be cut to 23 at the end of the month.

Wales coach Chris Coleman put the call out to Maxwell as one of his other keepers, Liverpool’s Danny Ward, has a slight knee injury.

Ward is currently doing rehab work and Wales want another keeper on the training pitch at their Algarve base.

It is expected that Ward will be fit to make the final cut for the tournament, which starts next month but Maxwell is in pole position to stake his claim should that not be the case.

The other keepers in the Wales squad are Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessy and Owain Fon Williams, who plays for Inverness Caledonian Thistle in Scotland.

Maxwell has been keeping himself fit since the end of the season, knowing he was on standby.

His move to North End was sorted out a little more than a week after the end of the season.

He has signed a three-year deal which will start on July 1 after his contract at Fleetwood runs out.

The 25-year-old has yet to be involved with Wales at senior level, having previously played at younger age groups.

He will be hoping that his move to North End and the opportunity to play in the Championship, can bolster his international chances.

Who Maxwell will be competing with for the gloves at Deepdale next season, remains to be seen.

PNE boss Simon Grayson has a vacancy for another keeper, having released Chris Kirkland and with Anders Lindegaard having gone back to West Bromwich.

Maxwell is one of the two Preston players whose season has gone into extra-time, with Bailey Wright the other. Wright is in Australia’s squad to face England at Sunderland tomorrow night.

The Socceroos have been training at the Black Cats’ Academy of Light this week.

After facing England, there are two games Down Under for Australia against Greece next month.

When he returns to Preston after the summer, Wright is looking forward to working with Maxwell.

“It was a good piece of business to get Chris in early,” said Wright.

“We knew that with players being released and going back to other clubs, we would have to get a couple of keepers signed up.

“Chris is a good keeper, I have met him quite a few times and seen him play.

“He did very well for Fleetwood and will be a great addition to our squad.

“Over the summer, we’ll see what other business is done.

“I’m sure the gaffer has plans for who he wants to bring in to make us stronger for next season in what will be a very tough division.”