Young guns for hire

LOAN CHANCE: George Miller in action against Bamber Bridge
LOAN CHANCE: George Miller in action against Bamber Bridge
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Darren Ferguson is keen to send some of Preston’s promising youngsters out on loan once the season starts.

North End have produced their best batch of kids through the Deepdale youth ranks for a number of years.

Six are starting their first season as professionals – Conor McLaughlin, George Miller, Jamie Procter, Neil Dougan, Jamie Douglas and Sam Hart.

And it will be some of them who Ferguson wants to loan out in order to gain vital first-team experience in the lower divisions.

He’s stressed that all have bright futures ahead of them, but they need regular senior football to aid their development.

Ferguson told the Evening Post: “The lads need to get out and play, although one or two may stay with us.

“We’ll wait until the season starts and then see what happens.

“I’ve had one or two calls already from clubs who are interested in loans.

“We’re not going to throw them out of the door but it’s important they go out and play some league football.

“It will benefit their development and then they can come back to us.

“If you throw them in too early into the Championship it really can damage them and we don’t want that to happen.

“These lads have really good potential and it’s exciting to have them at our club.

“But we’ve got to be careful with them.

“When I talk about the ones we’re looking to loan out, I don’t include Danny Mayor or Adam Barton.

“They are second year professionals and will play a big part in the first-team squad this season.”

With the exception of Hart who is currently injured, the first-year professionals have all featured at some stage in the friendlies against Bamber Bridge, Chorley and Blackburn.

And they were set to be on the bench for today’s clash with Everton at Deepdale.

Meanwhile, Ferguson has reported little joy in North End’s attempts to off-load the four players on the transfer list.

Richard Chaplow, Darren Carter, Stephen Elliott and Neal Trotman were all listed at the end of last season.

A proposed six-month loan move to Millwall for Carter fell through earlier this week after the midfielder had spent a week on trial with the Lions and played in two friendlies for them.

Said Ferguson: “Darren went down so Kenny Jackett could have a look at him.

“Kenny just told me he wasn’t the type of player he was looking for.

“Darren has come back here to train, and to be fair to him, he has been training very well.

“The four remain on the list and there’s been nothing concrete.”

North End’s new yellow away strip went on sale today.