Preston North End complete double swoop but they must pass Championship test

Preston North End completed a double swoop on Monday evening as they confirmed the signings of Ben Woodburn and Robbie Brady in quick succession.

By Tom Sandells
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 6:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 9:05 am

Woodburn had been on trial with North End for their first week back in pre-season training and featured in the opening pre-season game against Bamber Bridge, scoring the second goal in a 3-0 win.

Woodburn has signed a one-year-deal with the club holding an option of a further year.

The Welshman has pedigree, as Liverpool’s youngest ever goal scorer and the second youngest for Wales, but has found loan spells at Oxford United, Blackpool and Hearts have not gone the way he would have liked.

New PNE man Robbie Brady in action for the Republic of Ireland.

PNE boss Ryan Lowe has long been an admirer of the 22-year-old and feels he can be the one to unlock his potential.

Brady had also been training with PNE last week though he did not feature at the weekend as Woodburn did.

The Irishman will fill an important role in the Preston squad as wing backs are very much needed and similarly to Woodburn, he arrives with a reputation.

Brady has spent the majority of his career in the Premier League and last season was in the Bournemouth squad that finished second in the Championship.

New Preston midfielder Robbie Brady.

He has signed a one-year-deal at Deepdale.

Though not the marquee signings that some North End fans were hoping, they are two decent deals for Lowe.

They are relatively low risk, they have cost nothing in fees and neither will be commanding the highest wage at the club.

They do both still come with some elements of risks however, Woodburn is unproven at Championship level and previous loan spells at Oxford United, Blackpool and Hearts have not seen him kick on yet.

New North End striker Ben Woodburn.

Brady has struggled with his fitness for some time, signing for the Cherries in October and playing just seven times. In his five seasons at Burnley, his club prior to his move to the south coast, he failed to reach 20 league games in one campaign.

There is no tougher test than the Championship fixture list this season, condensed thanks to a winter World Cup.

Time will tell with the new pair, but Lowe has shown little to say that his decisions should not be trusted so far.