Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne is enjoying the demands of pre-season training after cutting short his summer break

Alan Browne called time on his holidays early in order to get into the best possible shape for Preston North End’s Championship campaign.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 5th July 2019, 7:00 am
Alan Browne

Browne travelled with the Republic of Ireland squad for a training camp in Portugal in May but suffered a minor calf strain during it.

That forced him to miss two Euro 2020 qualifiers in June, PNE team-mates Sean Maguire and Callum Robinson involved in those.

He could still have had a few days longer on holiday to take into account him training beyond the end of last season.

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However, the 24-year-old felt he couldn’t justify having more time away.

“The plan was to come back later with Callum and Seani,” Browne told the Lancashire Post.

“When I got the injury I thought there was no point in me getting the extra break as I’d only missed 10 days of my holidays.

“So I just decided to come back with the rest of the lads and I sent a text to the gaffer to say I would be back on June 27.

“It was unfortunate to get the injury but it’s fine now, I’ve done the first week of training with no problems.

“The injury with Ireland wasn’t a serious one, it was more of a subtle one.

“The Ireland staff didn’t want to risk me and send me home in a worse state.

“So we decided that I would go home, recover and be fit to come back here in pre-season.

“Last season was probably my worse in terms of injuries.

“There was nothing which kept me out for long periods apart from the one with my ankle which I got in the game at Middlesbrough, there was nothing I could do to avoid that one.

“The rest were little niggles and I’m doing work in the gym to prevent that happening.”

North End play their first pre-season game tomorrow against Bamber Bridge at the Sir Tom Finney Stadium.

Alex Neil will use most of the squad, with him likely to use a different XI in each half.

It is likely to be too early for Robinson and Maguire who came back on Wednesday.

Browne said: “This will be a good test for us.

“The boys were talking about last year’s game when we won 7-0 but to be fair, I thought that was harsh on Bamber Bridge who played well and are a good side.

“It always seems to be hot and sunny when we play there and it is an enjoyable day for the fans.

“We will get some fitness into our legs, build on the work we’ve been doing in the training sessions.

“The first week of training been good, everyone came back with really good fitness levels which has helped us get through the work.”

Admission is £10 adults, £5 concessions, while Under-16s go free with an adult.