Preston North End Player of the Year Ben Davies’ hopes for next season

Preston's Player of the Year Ben Davies
Preston's Player of the Year Ben Davies

Ben Davies believes the extra experience which the younger members of the Preston squad have had this season can help drive them on in the 2019/20 campaign.

The relative youth of the PNE squad in the season just ended was much talked about.

A big positive was seeing the development of a number of younger players – at the age of 23, centre-half Davies won the Player of the Year and the Players’ Player awards.

Jordan Storey won the Young Player of the Year, with Alan Browne, Ben Pearson, Callum Robinson and Lukas Nmecha – who has returned to Manchester City after his loan spell – featuring prominently.

Davies told the Post: “How we have to look at it is that we have another season under our belts, another season of experience.

“We have a lot of younger players here and all of us are learning with every game.

“I think I kicked on this season and a lot of the lads have come on a lot.

“If we can carry that into next season, I think we can do very well.

“It’s easy talking about it though, we have to show that on the pitch – that is where it counts.”

Davies and Storey formed North End’s central defensive partnership for 19 games from January through to the end of the season.

The fact that both featured prominently in the awards’ voting, shows that they caught the eye.

Said Davies: “Jordan really did deserve his award, he’s a good pro and came on so much during the season.

“He had the sort of season which I’d had the year before and hopefully he can push on again.”

A feature of Davies’ game which earned him plenty of praise, was his reading of the play and calmness on the ball. He wants to develop that further next season.

“I have always been quite assured during matches,” said Davies.

“As you develop and come through the age groups, you start to work out what you’re good at and what you can do.

“For me, it feels natural not to panic on the ball.

“I feel comfortable when I bring the ball down and look for a pass, not just kick it.”

Davies’ association with North End goes back to when he joined the academy at the age of 11.

This was his second season as a regular in the PNE side, the majority of his experience before that coming during five loan spells.

“I regard this as my home club, it has been my life for the last 12 years,” said Davies who hails from Barrow.

“This has been a great place to improve and I’ve had the chance to do that.

“Under this manager and his staff I have improved so much.”