Preston boss Phil Brown has tipped Adam Barton to break onto the scene in style for the club when they run out onto the pitch on August 6 against Colchester.
Barton, who has been with Preston from the age of 15, has shone for his club since returning from loan at Crawley Town in 2009. Barton has been connected with Barclays Premier League clubs during the transfer period, but the midfielder looks set to stay put at Preston aim to get promoted back into the npower Championship.
While Preston will no doubt face a challenge to keep Barton if a higher-tier club can offer big money, for now Brown believes that Barton will be a good leader for the club as they right their mistakes from last season, along with midfield partner Barry Nicholson.
"In the second half on Monday, I was demanding that Adam Barton got on the ball as often as he could,” Brown said of the friendly against Kimarnick, which Preston drew 1-1.
"That is the position for him, sitting in front of the back four and making us play, like an orchestra leader. He has got that ability but he has to demand the ball and get on it more times."
Preston have had a pressing couple of weeks, with friendlies against Falkirk, which drew 2-2 with the side, and Fleetwood T last Wednesday, which Preston won 4-0. Last night, the side beat Kendal Town 7-1 at Parkside road, with former Manchester united goalkeeper Roy Carroll playing for North End.