Strength in depth: Preston centre-back Ben Davies says Patrick Bauer’s arrival is a big boost

Ben Davies has welcomed the addition of Patrick Bauer to the Preston defence.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 4th July 2019, 7:00 am
Patrick Bauer during pre season training

Centre-back Davies says the competition that summer signing Bauer brings can only be good for the Lilywhites as they look to perform strongly in the season ahead.

The German is North End’s only recruit to date, with him arriving on a Bosman after his contract at Charlton ended.

Bauer’s arrival will keep Davies and Jordan Storey on their toes, those two having been the first-choice pair in the centre of PNE’s defence from January onwards.

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With Tom Clarke and Paul Huntington to call on too, there is plenty of choice for Preston boss Alex Neil.

Davies told the Lancashire Post: “Patrick has come in and will give us strength and depth at the back.

“The more competition there is throughout the side, the better that will be for us.

“When someone who plays in the same position as you signs, you can’t worry.

“It just makes you want to work even harder and better.

“I have the belief that if I do that, I will keep on improving and stay in the team.

“It’s great to have Patrick here, he brings experience to the squad which can only help us this season.”

North End now have five players pushing for the two centre-half slots.

Club skipper Clarke is also an option to play at right-back along with Darnell Fisher and Joe Rafferty.

Preston supporters should get their first look at Bauer on Saturday when PNE pay their annual pre-season visit to Bamber Bridge.

The following day, the squad fly to the Republic of Ireland for a training camp at Fota Island.

Their stay over the water includes Monday night’s game against Cork City.

Davies, voted player of the year by fans and team-mates last season, is looking forward to the programme of warm-up matches.

The 23-year-old said: “The first few days of pre-season friendly concentrate on your fitness and it is hard work.

“Once you get into the games though, training starts to go a lot quicker.

“The Bamber Bridge game is always one I enjoy, they make us feel very welcome and everyone who goes to the game seems to have a good time.

“Their players work hard against us but they never try to leave anything on you which is good.

“We’ve got the Ireland trip after that which is good.

“You get in a house with a couple of the other lads, you are close to the pitches and get plenty of work done.

“I know a lot of teams go further a field for the warmer weather in pre-season.

“But Ireland seems to suit us and it is a good bonding session for the lads.”