West Ham old boy Sean Maguire ready to step up for Preston North End

PNE striker Sean Maguire is set to face his former club West Ham at Deepdale tomorrow
PNE striker Sean Maguire is set to face his former club West Ham at Deepdale tomorrow

Preston striker Sean Maguire will have former club West Ham in his sights tomorrow as he aims to keep a promising pre-season campaign going.

Maguire had two years as a Hammers player but did not manage a first-team game in his time in London.

Their visit to Deepdale is the next stage of North End’s build-up to the new campaign which starts on August 4.

So far Maguire has found the net five times, scoring a hat-trick at Bamber Bridge and two against AFC Fylde.

He featured in Tuesday’s friendly at Cobh Ramblers but drew a blank.

Maguire told the Post: “I was at West Ham for around two-and-a-half years.

“As a club there have been a lot of changes since I was there and I don’t hold any grudges.

“A few of the staff are still there and I know some of the players, Jordan Hugill from him being here and a couple of lads from the Irish set-up.

“They scouted me playing for Waterford in the League of Ireland First Division when I was 17 or 18.

“It was a big move, I was a bit immature at the time and only a young lad.

“I went to Accrington on loan for a season and when I came back, they released a lot of the Under-23s players.

“That is when I went back to Ireland.

“West Ham coming here will be a great test for us, as will Burnley on Monday night.

“It will be totally different to the games we’ve had so far and we’ll have to step up.

“Being back at Deepdale will be good – it’s a while since we played at home.”

PNE were having their last training session at Fota Island today before flying home.

Maguire says the Irish trip has been a beneficial one.

“It’s been a brilliant few days,” said the 24-year-old.

“The facilities down here are first class and this week has been about the technical and tactical side of the game whereas the first couple of weeks were fitness-based.

“It was a good to have a game part-way through and we have now scored 18 goals in our three friendlies.

“Of course it will only be when the season starts that the goals count but it is still good to score them now.

“I’m feeling strong and sharp, probably as good as I have ever been.

“After I had to pull out of the Ireland squad in May with a hamstring niggle, I made sure I worked hard in the gym all summer to get right.

“We’ve reached 60 minutes in games so far, the next step is for a full 90 either tomorrow or against Burnley.”

Tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for concessions, Under-11s are free when accompanied by an over-18.

With barcoded tickets in use for the first time, fans are asked to arrive a little earlier than normal to avoid delays.