Following relegation from League One in a season where Crewe Alexandra finished rock bottom of the table, they ended their first season back in League Two with a 16th place finish.
With the incoming transfers of players such as Chris Porter and Jordan Bowery, fans can be quietly optimistic that this season could bring much better things for the Railwaymen.
But manager David Artell will certainly not be looking to stop there with the signings, despite a restrained budget, and one player he should take a look at is Preston youngster Josh Earl.
Earl, a left-back who can also play wide midfield, has just signed his first professional contract with the club after a successful spell with the club’s academy, in which he helped them to the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup.
He also spent time out on loan last season with Lancaster City who were crowned champions of the Northern Premier League.
On his return to Preston, he has featured and massively impressed in two pre-season friendlies.
For just an 18-year-old, Earl has a huge build and his hard work to get a professional contract at Deepdale is evident.
Despite impressing Preston supporters and new manager Alex Neil, it is highly unlikely that he will feature next season due to the fierce competition that the likes of Greg Cunningham and Kevin O’Connor will offer him.
To stay at Preston and not play would be a waste of time for the young full-back, so the Whites should certainly be looking at potential destinations for a loan spell.
Crewe Alexandra should be one.
Within the ranks at Crewe is left-back Zoumana Bakayogo who is a highly experienced man who has featured 165 times in League One, and also made a brief appearance in the Championship.
Earl would certainly offer good competition to the former Leicester man and can also learn a thing or two from his experience in the professional game.