It wasn't long ago that the Irish teenager Alan Browne was playing amateur football for Cork City waiting patiently for a shot at a professional level. In January 2014 that dream came true as Preston came knocking at the door willing to take a punt with the enthusiastic youngster. Preston are now sitting pretty near the top of the sky bet league 1 table and they will not have regretted putting faith in Browne as he has become a permanent figure in the team and has helped with their success this season.
Despite Browne’s limited experience at a professional level before this season he plays with an intelligence that would suggest otherwise. He has a good range of passing being able to pick players out with long balls but also knows when to play the ball short and simple.
Browne is a technically gifted player and has confidence in his own dribbling ability as he has shown many times this season that he is not afraid to take a player on. Browne can definitely be described as a goal scoring midfielder who is willing to shoot on sight.
A return of 3 goals and 1 assist so far this season is not a bad return for a midfielder but pales in comparison to the record he had a Cork City. He has said himself that he would like to improve his goal scoring record and is working hard to do so but after taking such a big jump from amateur football to league one this will not be easy.
Although Browne has many of the technical attributes needed to succeed at this level, as with so many young players, if he is ever to reach the top level it is vital that he improves the physical part of his game. The difference in pace, power and stamina of players at the top level compared to Browne and his opponents in league one is significant and can be a shock for players that make that step.
Standing at only 5 ft 8 and being fairly lean in stature means that improving his fitness and strength must be near the top of his list of priorities on where he needs to improve. Although what he lacks in height and strength he makes up for in bravery and is definitely not afraid of a tackle. He works hard for his team and you know he will always give you 100% which the fans love.
This season will be a really important one for Browne. He needs to keep working hard, performing well and really push to keep his place in the Preston starting 11. If he can do that who knows how far he can go.