Newcomer Graham Burke catches PNE boss Alex Neil's eye

Alex Neil has been impressed with Graham Burke's first two displays in a Preston shirt.

Monday, 16th July 2018, 2:04 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:43 pm
Graham Burke challenges AFC Fylde's Danny Rowe at Mill Farm

The summer signing from Shamrock Rovers scored five minutes into his first game at Bamber Bridge and also caught the eye in PNE’s 6-1 win over AFC Fylde on Saturday.

Against Brig he played as a No.10 behind Sean Maguire, then at AFC Fylde linked-up with Louis Moult.

Burke was unfortunate not to score at the weekend, a second-half shot from the edge of the box coming back off the post.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

North End boss Neil told the Post: “Graham’s got really good quality and I like the look of what he can offer.

“He is still getting used to his team-mates and tactically we still have a wee bit of work to do with him.

“But technically on the ball, making runs and being a threat, he definitely has the quality.

“Graham was very close to scoring on Saturday with the chance when he cut in and bent it round.

“We played him behind Louis Moult, and Josh 
Harrop was up there too.”

PNE snapped up Burke in a £200,000 deal last month.

The 24-year-old’s form in the League of the Ireland with Shamrock caught their eye, the interest increasing when Burke made the Republic of Ireland squad.

North End flew to Cork on Sunday for a training camp at the Fota Island resort.

They are there until Friday and on Tuesday evening play Cobh Ramblers.

The game is being at Cork City’s Turners Cross ground due to work on Cobh’s pitch.

It marks a return to their former ground for Sean Maguire and Alan Browne.

Both were signed by PNE from Cork, Browne from their Under-19s in 2014 and Maguire 12 months ago after firing City to the League of Ireland title.

Maguire and Browne are expected to start the Cobh game by reason of them being substitutes at AFC Fylde.

Neil took a 60-30 approach at Mill Farm, the starting XI playing an hour before all were replaced.

“We will flip it around for the Cobh game,” said Neil.

“Those who got 30 minutes on Saturday will get an hour in Ireland.

“We’ve got 25 players with us in Ireland, they are the lads who I will be working with this season.”

Maguire might only have got half-an-hour on Saturday but in a seven-minute spell managed to score twice and hit the post.