Preston North End academy graduate wins Player of the Year award in first permanent season away from club

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Preston North End academy graduate Josh Earl was awarded the Chairman’s Player of the Year at Fleetwood Town following the end of their League One campaign.

Earl played 37 times for Town as they finished 13th in the table, 13 points clear of the relegation zone and 19 points off the play-off places.

There was a change in role for the 24-year-old, who predominantly played as a centre half, rather than as a left back or a left wing back as he did during his time at Deepdale.

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Earl began his North End career as a winger before dropping further back and breaking into the first team under Alex Neil as a left back. He was a regular in PR1 after making his way into the first team but fell out of favour under Ryan Lowe last season and was allowed to leave for the Fylde coast in the summer.

North End agreed on a mutual cancellation for Earl’s deal, which allowed him to pursue first team football elsewhere, racking up a number of appearances in League One where he had been on loan with Burton Albion when contracted to Preston.