Preston North End striker Jayden Stockley on the lessons he’s learned in the Championship
Jayden Stockley says he kept a close watch on opposition strikers in his opening spell with Preston to help him get used to the Championship.
After stepping up from League Two to sign for North End in January, Stockley felt it was important to pick up tips from players in his position at this level.
The big centre-forward scored four goals following his move from Exeter City, one of those being the winner in the 2-1 victory at Middlesbrough.
He started eight games and made nine appearances from the bench.
Stockley’s goals in a PNE shirt added to the 16 he had netted for Exeter during the first half of the campaign.
“I really enjoyed my first few months here, I came up against fantastic players,” said Stockley.
“I’ve looked to take advice and I was watching strikers to try and pick things up which I could use in my game.
“I was able to do that both in training with the lads here and from opposition strikers.
“There are some very good targetmen in this division and I have to take what I can from them.”
PNE triggered a reported £750,000 release clause to sign Stockley early in the January transfer window.
Alex Neil had been on the lookout for a long while for someone of Stockley’s mould to provide a targetman option.
Having had a four-month taste of the Championship, the 25-year-old thinks it will stand him in good stead for next season.
Said Stockley: “I’m glad I had the half season, that has given me something to build on for next year.
“It has given me a little look to see what is needed so that I go into next season with a lot of confidence.
“In these last few months I’ve proved I can play at this level, that is a big confidence booster.
“When I signed everything was new to me, every team was new and I didn’t know too much about other players.
“I knew there would be good quality in this division but I didn’t realise how much until I started playing.
“During the good run we had I thought we played some magnificent stuff at times.
“Against Norwich at home we were excellent, while in the away games at Bolton and Blackburn, to pick two, some of our football was very good.
“We ran out of steam in the last few weeks which was of course disappointing.
“If next season we can keep everyone fit and firing, it will be very encouraging.
“The gaffer signing his new contract was brilliant and gives lots of stability to the club.
“I think there is a good chance that we can do really well next season.
“This has been a good club to come to, well run, and I’m looking forward to working hard for what we want.”
Stockley is sure to get some more company in North End’s attacking unit this summer.
Callum Robinson, Sean Maguire and Louis Moult are the other striking options at the moment.
Lukas Nmecha has gone back to Manchester City at the end of his loan.