There aren’t too many parallels between Preston and Green Bay; well, except that it’s usually pretty cold.
For Tom Bayliss though, there is some inspiration he can take from the Green Bay Packers and, in particular, Aaron Rodgers.
This might sound mad, or to those who don’t watch the NFL, a little confusing, but bear with me here.
Rodgers was selected by the Packers in 2005, despite the fact that they already had a top quarterback in Brett Favre.
They ultimately knew that Favre would need replacing down the line, and rather than be in a position of forcing a replacement when the time came, they got his successor in early.
Rodgers didn’t become Green Bay’s starter until 2008. He sat behind Favre for three years, learning, waiting for his chance.
When it came, he took it. Rodgers guided the Packers to a Super Bowl win in 2011, establishing himself as a great – and proving the Packers right for taking him and letting him learn for so long before unleashing him.
For Bayliss, this should be his inspiration. He was signed by Preston in 2019, but has barely kicked a ball for North End since his £1.2million move from Coventry City.
It may or may not have been Preston’s intention, but Bayliss can now emerge as the heir to Paul Gallagher in the way that Rodgers did with Favre.
Gallagher has remained an important Preston player throughout Bayliss’s time at the club, meaning he has been forced to sit on the sidelines whilst a much older player takes minutes ahead of him.
Gallagher has now retired of his own volition, whereas Favre ended up being traded out of Green Bay. Additionally, Gallagher and Bayliss don’t have the spiky relationship Rodgers and Favre had.
Yet if Bayliss needed any inspiration that you can become star after years mostly being sat in the shadows, he only has to look at one of the biggest names in the NFL for proof that he can become Gallagher’s heir and thrive in his own right.