"I'll have to put the Christmas tree up myself!": Preston defender Jordan Storey adapting to life away from home on and off the field
Jordan Storey's move to Deepdale has been a major change both on and off the field for the promising defender.
The 21-year-old stepped up from League Two to the Championship in the summer when he swapped Exeter for Preston and signed a four-year contract.
He had only made 18 appearances for the Grecians, starting the final 12 games of the season as they missed out on promotion to Coventry City in the play-off final.
Stepping up two divisions was always going to be a big ask.
But off it Storey is also a long way from home, the Yeovil lad having spent time on loan Bideford, Tiverton and Dorchester during his time at Exeter.
Settling in all the time in Lancashire after his move from the West Country, the upcoming Christmas period will certainly be different this year.
"My family will be coming up here which will be nice,” said Storey.
“They’ll be expecting me to get the Christmas tree up and things like that sorted!
“It would be a nightmare trying to get there and back but I’m looking forward to the Christmas period.
“I think we’re going to go out for somewhere to eat which will be nice and I’ll set up the decorations before they come.
“It will be a different experience and it will be good spend some time with them over Christmas.”
Most new faces at Deepdale talk of the team spirit in the PNE dressing room on their arrival and Storey is no different.
“The international breaks have helped,” he said.
“I’ve been able to go back down at times and see my family and my friends occasionally come up as well.
“But I couldn’t have asked for a better place to come.
“Although it’s miles away from home all the players and the staff have been friendly.
“It’s been really easy to bed in.”
On the field, Storey is increasingly looking right at home in the Championship.
His apprenticeship continued when he was back in for the injured Ben Davies for the 1-1 draw at Middlesbrough on Tuesday night.
That saw him battle with former PNE front man Jordan Hugill and another target man in Rudy Gestede, something not too far removed from his time in the lower reaches of the Football League.
“I played against players like that in League Two which helped me,” Storey said.
“Big, physical lads are what I’m used to. I knew what to expect.
“In the Championship you are of course playing against guys who are more athletic and do different things.
“They’re not just a big physical presence, they’ve got good movement and are good on the ball.
“They’re just more of a handful.
“I getting the tempo of the Championship which is key and I feel like I’m finding my feet more and more which is good.”