Preston North End debutant talks making the step up, learning from Robbie Brady and Alvaro Fernandez and this only being the beginning

Jacob Slater has been enjoying a whirlwind fortnight having been called up to train with the first team and making his Preston North End debut.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

The 18-year-old has emerged as one of the newest talents outside of Ryan Lowe’s squad and made his North End debut in midweek against Huddersfield Town.

The Lancashire Post sat down with Slater to talk about his quick success.

You’ve had a good few weeks, haven’t you?

Jacob Slater in action on his debut against Huddersfield Town. Credit: PNEFC/Ian RobinsonJacob Slater in action on his debut against Huddersfield Town. Credit: PNEFC/Ian Robinson
Jacob Slater in action on his debut against Huddersfield Town. Credit: PNEFC/Ian Robinson
Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"It's been great, the last few weeks have been pretty crazy.

“I played in the Charnock Richard game for the youth team and the gaffer and Paul Gallagher came to watch. I knew I had to take that opportunity and try to impress. I got a call the next day and was in training with the first team the day after.

"I was buzzing but I was also trying to get in the right mindset and trying to get focused. I knew training with the first team is an opportunity to try and impress the lads and impress the manager to push for a debut.”

How has it been settling in with the first team?

“The lads have been excellent with me, I've settled in really well and they've been really welcoming.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Greg Cunningham has been great with me, he's sort of put an arm around me, especially with sort of playing my position as well. He's a great role model to me.

“They're the ones I want to learn from, they've been where I want to be. I get to learn from players like Robbie Brady and Alvaro Fernandez who have got a lot of quality. I'm looking to try and learn as much as I can from them.”

How did it feel to make your debut?

“It was brilliant, it was pretty surreal with it all being so quick. Two weeks ago I didn't think I'd be moving up with the first team let alone playing.

“It was mad, but that's what I wanted to do. I wanted to impress the manager enough to get a chance and I feel I've done that.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"I want to keep taking my opportunities and I know it's still early days in terms of impressing him and trying to get more minutes.”

Did you expect to get on against Huddersfield when the manager said you’d be involved?

“No, I was going into it hoping I'd get the experience of being on the bench. That was a big thing for me. Then when the goals started going in I started getting a bit more hopeful.

“I thought I would be really nervous coming on but when I got a touch of the ball it felt just like a normal game. I felt fine, I felt good. It was surreal being in front of all the Preston fans, they were unreal.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It didn't feel real but I was just so focused on having a good game, having a good 10 minutes. I don't think it will sink in for another week.

"It was only Saturday when I was playing in front of 50 parents and then I come and play at a Championship ground in front of 1,500 travelling fans.

"I don't want this to be the highlight of my career, I want to look back at this as the start.”