Preston North End youngster Michael Howard doing well in loan spell at Hednesford Town
Preston North End have several players loaned out to other clubs for varying reasons but one who seems to have really hit it off with his temporary clubs is youngster Michael Howard.
The 18-year-old attacker was loaned to Hednesford Town last month in order to gain first-team experience.
He scored a spectacular goal on his debut and has now found the net three times, the latest in the Pitmen’s 2-0 win over Tamworth in the FA Cup on Saturday.
Howard, who signed pro forms with PNE in February, was voted Hednesford’s player of the month by supporters for August.
The Southport-born player came through the academy at North End having joined when he was aged 11.
Last season he had a spell on loan with Cork City in the League of Ireland, signing his professional contract before he headed to Turners Cross.
Howard didn’t get as much first-team football over the water as Preston would have liked and returned in time to start pre-season training with Alex Neil’s squad.
He joined Hednesford on a six-month loan and seems to be reaping the benefits of a regular game – they play in the NPL Premier Division, the same division as Bamber Bridge and Lancaster City.
Another young player who headed out in the summer in search of first-team football is goalkeeper Mathew Hudson.
He signed for Bury on loan until January but has so far made just one appearance, that coming last Tuesday night in the Checkatrade Trophy.
On Saturday, Hudson was back on the bench for Bury’s 4-0 win over Grimsby Town.
Yet to feature in Grimsby’s squad since his deadline day move to the Mariners is Ben Pringle.
He has joined them on a season-long loan which, with his PNE contract running out next June, effectively brought his time at Deepdale to an end.
Grimsby manager Michael Jolley has chosen not to throw Pringle in at the deep end due to his previous lack of activity at North End.
Jolley said: “He’d been working with the youth team by and large over at Preston, and although he’s been involved in their training, I’m not sure he’s been training at the level that would enable him to go straight into fixtures in League Two.”