Southport’s Steven James signs professional contract at Preston North End

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Goal Keeper Steven James signs professional contract at Preston North End

Steven James praised PNE academy coaches for the confidence they have given him, after he signed his first professional contract last week.

The 18-year-old from Birkdale in Southport sealed a one year deal having been part of the Club’s youth system since he was nine.   And the goalkeeper has highlighted the impact of PNE’s academy coaching as one of the reasons behind his success.   “I’d just like to thank all the coaches who have worked with me over the past nine years and my family who have supported me the whole way through,” he said.   “It’s been brilliant, they’ve kept kicking me on all the time and given me loads of confidence in myself.”

Meanwhile, James hopes he can push on next season and clinch a place in Simon Grayson’s first team plans, with a bit of hard graft.

“I just need to keep working to get that first team spot and keep at it and see what happens,” he added.

And the shot stopper believes his prior training with senior players can act as a spring board, helping him secure that target.   “It’s been an experience, definitely one to remember,” he said. “I’ve loved the opportunity to work with the first team.”

For now though, James will be pleased that fellow academy graduates, Ben Davies and Ryan Croasdale, will accompany him in the senior squad, two players he is very familiar with.

“I’ve known them both since I moved to the club. We’ve been here quite a while, the three of us,” he concluded.

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