Town’s new boy Ben the latest with North End links

Fleetwood Towns new loanee Ben Davies
Fleetwood Towns new loanee Ben Davies

Fleetwood’s link down the M55 to Preston North End suits new loanee Ben Davies just fine.

The North End defender has swapped Deepdale for Highbury until the end of the season.

Davies came through PNE’s youth set-up with Town midfielder Jack Sowerby, signing his first professional contract in 2013.

Sowerby is not the only North End link with Conor McLaughlin graduating from their youth set-up, while a number of Fleetwood’s staff also have strong connections to Simon Grayson’s Championship side.

Uwe Rosler’s assistant, Rob Kelly, had two spells as caretaker boss at Deepdale in 2007 and 2009-10, first team coach Barry Nicholson played at Deepdale for four years from 2008 before switching to the Fylde coast, fitness coach Youl Mawene enjoyed a six year spell at PNE from 2004-2010 and goalkeeping coach David Lucas also spent time at North End.

Davies made seven league appearances for North End when they were in League One and, this season, has featured in PNE’s 3-2 EFL Cup win at Premier League side Bournemouth and the 6-0 EFL Cup defeat at Newcastle.

Now after enjoying loan spells in League Two and the National League at York City, Tranmere, Southport and Newport the youngster is glad to be just down the road and back in League One after helping Town keep a clean sheet on his debut and move up to sixth in the table thanks to their 1-0 at Shrewsbury on Saturday.

He said: “I heard a whisper two weeks ago maybe and I’ve been in since Thursday (last week) just doing a bit of training with the lads and just bed me in and that because Preston were happy with that.

“As soon as I heard the interest from Fleetwood who are flying really and round the corner. I couldn’t wait to get here.

“I was hoping for League One and a team that is doing well; as I say it is round the corner and there are a few boys here who are ex-Preston so it has helped me settle in well.

“We played bounce games against Fleetwood quite a lot and so I have a couple of mates here already; it has been easy to bed in having staff and players that I already know so it has been good.”

Davies was pleased to keep a clean sheet on debut at Shrewsbury.

He said: “We had to stick in there at the end to keep the clean sheet but a 1-0 win away from home on my debut is brilliant really.

“The early goal in any game is crucial so that settled us down and we looked to build on that.

“We could have been 2-0 up but we will make chances and we will miss them and score them so it is just on the day

“It showed what character there is in the squad at the minute.

“The lads at the back defended with their lives, but from the front to the back, we worked hard and we realised we were going to need everyone if we were going to keep that clean sheet and it was good to hear that final whistle really.”