Robbie Brady on fitness, PNE trial, Premier League ambitions and helping Manchester United loanee

Preston North End were the right fit for Robbie Brady this summer as he set about finding himself a new club.

By Tom Sandells
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 3:44 pm

Read More

Read More
Preston North End boss knows there will be a fight for a new striker

The Republic of Ireland international was out of contract at AFC Bournemouth and available on a free transfer as he joined Ryan Lowe’s side on a trial. A week later he was a PNE player.

Having spent four-and-a-half years in the Premier League with Burnley, he joined the Cherries but did not feature much.

Preston North End's Robbie Brady at Deepdale.

He is feeling more at home back up north and has found the people around North End to be a big help in him settling in.

He said: “I knew of the manager and he got in contact a few weeks before and he gave me an opportunity to come in and pre-season to go from there and see what happened.

“He assured me I'd like it as soon as I came in, he wanted to see where I was at physically and I think I showed that I've been working hard all off-season and at Bournemouth last season.

"Coming in, I knew I was in a good place. We spoke as the week progressed then finally got a deal done. Everything fitted, I liked the way the club wanted to do things.

The Irishman is set to make his home debut for PNE.

"It seemed like a real family orientated feel about the club. You come in and you feel at ease straight away, all the people are real salt of the earth.

"The dressing room is good and it's been brilliant since I've come in. I'm back at home now and it's been a good fit for me.

"The older you get you start to pick up different things from different people, if I feel like something needs to be said at times I feel like I'm in a place to say it.

"Everyone takes things on board, it's not just me talking. If I can add or help in any way then I'll do that going forward.

Robbie Brady after PNE's game with Wigan.

“You have to try and raise the standards if you want to do well, everyone has ambitions of playing in the Premier League and mine certainly haven't faded away.

"Speaking to the lads, they're all on the same page and they all want to do as well as they can. We'll be giving it a right go and we'll see where we end up come the end of the season.”

Brady will be up against one of his former sides, Hull City, this weekend in his first game competitive at Deepdale.

It’s a chance for North End to show their creativity and cutting edge having faltered on that front on the opening day against Wigan Athletic.

But with the likes of Brady, Daniel Johnson, Emil Riis and Troy Parrott all available for the game, the quartet could give fans something to shout about.

He said: “Hull is definitely one I look out for, I do for all the clubs I've played for. I've got some great memories there but we'll be going all out for the win for Preston. I'll put that behind me until after the game.

“It's exciting, we have some very good players here. It's just about gelling all that together now and finding out - especially for those that have not played together as much - what everyone's strengths are.

"When that clicks I think we certainly have the players to cause teams trouble. You can see it already in training, it helps going and winning a game but there's no pressure on that, we're only into the second week of the season.

"You don't want to be wasting any time or any games and saying if only we'd have done this or that.

"We've had a good pre-season together now, so we'll be looking to help and compliment each other in the way we play.

"Hopefully we'll go on to build some momentum and win as many games as we can.”

The 30-year-old’s place in the team will be under threat following the signing of Alvaro Fernandez on loan, with a bright cameo at Wigan, to keep him on his toes.

Like the Spaniard, Brady started his career at Manchester United and he has understanding of what it is like for a young player trying to get going in his career.

Fernandez was the player of the year for United’s U23’s last season and Brady has heard good things out of his old club.

It does not have to be one or the other either, as Brady is willing and able to play in multiple positions.

He said: “I know what it's like as a young lad coming in on loan but you can definitely see his qualities, he's a great player.

"He had a good season last year at Man United, I have some friends still there that I speak to and they've been singing his praises as well. It's good to have that competition.

"We'll be fighting for the same spot the majority of the time. It'll help, it'll benefit me and it'll definitely benefit him as well to push on.

"If there's anything I can help him with along the way I would be more than happy to do that, he's a good kid.

“I've played the majority of positions, I'd be happy playing the majority of positions on the park whether that's the left side, right side, anywhere.

"We'll see how the next few weeks pan out but it's exciting and we've got some players fighting."