Preston fans are often left frustrated by the lack of first-team talent emerging from the youth team, but the club are clearly trying to rectify that.
Ben Davies has been the big success story of recent times, coming up through the Preston ranks before earning a big move to Liverpool.
There have been many cases of players breaking through, but ultimately falling by the wayside in the end, leading to fans growing less and less convinced that players will come through.
On Wednesday, Preston announced their latest first-year scholars, but took an almost unprecedented step in the process.
Defender Josh Seary and midfielder Noah Mawene were two of the players given scholarships, but Preston took a huge decision over their long-term futures.
North End confirmed that both players have already agreed to professional contracts at Deepdale, and they will trigger when they turn 17.
Preston have fended off Premier League interest to keep hold of Seary, and we understand some of the top flight’s ‘big boys’ had been keeping tabs on Seary.
As for Mawene, his name carries some weight. His father Youl was a North End favourite, but he will of course want to make a name for himself at Deepdale.
Mawene, despite only being 16, racked up nine goals in nine games for Preston’s Under-18’s during a stunning spell last season, proving he can be a goalscoring midfielder.
This is, quite frankly, hugely exciting. Preston clearly think that Seary and Mawene can be first-team players in the future, and North End have given them a huge show of faith by tying them down to pro deals as they just start their scholarships.
Many fans, and us included, are critical of Preston at times in terms of infrastructure and planning, but this is just so great to see.
Preston are leaving nothing to chance, they’re making proactive decisions on two of the clubs hottest prospects, all with the goal of bringing them into the first team one day.
If that happens, we’ll look back at this decision as being absolutely key. Everyone involved in making this decision deserves real praise, and let’s hope we see both Seary and Mawene thriving in the famous white shirt moving forward.