Preston fans were left stunned on Saturday afternoon when Bamber Bridge ace Jamie Thomas turned out for North End at Accrington Stanley.
Frankie McAvoy took his side to the Wham Stadium last weekend as pre-season preparations continue, with a new face in the squad.
Preston announced a trialist on the bench, and fans were getting giddy thinking ex-Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony had turned up to play.
Those fans were left a little deflated when it turned out the man in question wasn’t a former £25million signing but rather a player currently at Bamber Bridge in Thomas.
The 24-year-old scored twice against Preston in a pre-season friendly earlier this month, and North End decided to have a closer look at him.
Formerly of Blackpool, Bolton Wanderers and Burnley, Thomas fell out of the professional game amid a battle with anxiety and depression.
Thomas is now in non-league with Bamber Bridge having previously been with Squires Gate and AFC Blackpool, and has caught Preston’s attention.
Thomas remarkably came off the bench to score for Preston in the 1-1 draw at Accrington, giving himself a real chance of capping off this Roy of the Rovers story with a North End contract.
Now, the Lancashire Evening Post claim that Thomas was going to play for another North West EFL side on Saturday before Preston hijacked that arrangement.
The LEP have since added that Oldham Athletic were the club who wanted to have a look at him, but Thomas clearly felt the opportunity to turn out for Preston was too big to turn down.
Thomas will stay with Preston this week as McAvoy told the LEP that ‘a lot of clubs’ in the region fancy taking a look at the playmaker.
North End have put themselves in pole position for Thomas, who could rise up five tiers if he makes a permanent move to Deepdale.