The Lilywhites appear to have made some positive strides since Ryan Lowe replaced Frankie McAvoy in the dugout with the building blocks in place to compete inside the top half of the division next season.
North End have flirted with the play-off places at times in recent seasons and there does seem to be a sense of unity behind Lowe, and what he could achieve, as we edge towards 2022/23.
With the club potentially changing hands at board level in the near future, this summer may not be as busy as previous windows, meaning that Lowe will need to improve his current squad to kick on from his solid start this season.
Alex Neil had North End on the verge of the play-offs at times in his reign, and the same may be expected of Lowe given the potential he and the squad have shown in the second half of the season.
Here, we have taken a look at two Preston players to watch out for next season…
McCann signed from St Johnstone last summer after a very successful season in Scotland.
The 22-year-old has shown his potential in patches and adjusted to Championship level nicely, starting 16 league games but making the matchday squad in 38 of the 46 games in the second tier.
With a full pre-season behind him and Lowe’s methods becoming more established, the Northern Ireland international could become a key cog in a play-off bid at Deepdale.
McCann’s versatility, infectious energy and vision should make him a far more prominent player in midfield next season.
Quiz: Which club did Preston North End sign these 24 players from in the 2000s?
17-year-old attacking midfielder Mikey O’Neill made three substitute appearances in the Championship at the back end of the season, and could push for further involvement next term.
Clearly one of the hottest prospects developing at the club at the moment, O’Neill could become a more regular fringe player and earn some trust from his manager in cup competitions.
Being around the first team squad in the closing months of the season should improve O’Neill’s drive and if he can stay grounded and enhance his focus going into pre-season, the 17-year-old standing in Lowe’s considerations may increase.