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Bambo Diaby scores in dream first game for Preston as he sets off on Thorsten Stuckmann path

Preston beat Bolton Wanderers 2-0 in the Central League today, with Bambo Diaby making a dream appearance by scoring the opening goal.

North End signed Diaby on deadline day, handing the defender a contract until the end of the season.

Diaby spent two years out of the game due to a doping violation but spent almost two months training with Preston.

Ryan Lowe saw enough of Diaby to give him a contract, but he hadn’t even been able to play a reserve game before today.

Diaby started against Bolton this afternoon, and it couldn’t have gone much better for the centre back.

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Diaby opened the scoring for Preston after just 22 minutes, bagging from inside the six-yard box to put Preston ahead.

North End found a second after the break with Joe Rodwell-Grant scoring from close range, sealing the win.

For Diaby, this was an absolute dream. He needs to take every chance he gets in order to win an extended Preston deal, and it doesn’t get much better than scoring and keeping a clean sheet.

There aren’t all that many examples of Preston trialists becoming stars at Deepdale, but Diaby will be looking to follow in the footsteps of Thorsten Stuckmann.

Goalkeeper Stuckmann was a surprise trialist back in 2011 having left German side Alemannia Aachen.

Preston initially chose not to do a deal, but Phil Brown changed his mind in November, handing Stuckmann a short-term deal.

Nobody could have really expected Stuckmann to become such a fan favourite, even a cult hero – but he did.

Best remembered for his penalty saves, Stuckmann had a great relationship with the Preston fans and proved to be a great signing after a strong trial spell.

Stuckmann – who actually saved a penalty from Ryan Lowe on his Chesterfield debut in 2017 – spent almost four years at North End before moving on.

Diaby would no doubt love to become a favourite like Stuckmann, showing that trialists can be valued on the pitch and in the stands.

With his goal today, Diaby has really started that path. Let’s hope it continues.

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