Given their history, it is somewhat surprising that Preston North End are one of just five current Championship clubs never to have played in the Premier League.
That is of course, something that Alex Neil’s side are looking to change this season, with the Deepdale club currently sixth in the second-tier standings, with nine games of the season still to be played at some point.
It is also worth noting, that despite the fact they have yet to reach the promised land of the Premier League, there have still been plenty of high-quality players to have come in and out of Deepdale in the past few decades.
With football out of action for the foreseeable future, we’re taking the opportunity to work out Preston North End’s best XI of the millennium, and are giving you a chance to have a say in who you’d like to see in that team.
Here, we’re focusing on the right-back position, taking a look at the four best right-sided defenders to pull on a Preston shirt since the year 2000, and at the end, you can vote on which one should be included in the Lilywhites’ Team of the Millennium.
Arguably one of the most popular Preston players of his generation, Alexander was a key and constant figure throughout much of his time at Deepdale.
After helping North End win promotion to what is now the Championship in his first full season with the club in the 1999/2000 campaign, would go on to become a more than regular feature in their side at second-tier level throughout the next seven seasons, before leaving for Burnley in 2007 with exactly 400 Preston appearance to his name.
Having spent the following four years at Turf Moor, Alexander returned to Preston for the final season of his playing career in the 2011/12 campaign, and was given the fairytale ending when he scored direct from a free-kick against Charlton with his last ever kick as a professional footballer.
Another to natural right-back to impress for Preston during the first decade of the millennium was Tyrone Mears.
Despite a lack of opportunities at times early in his Deepdale career, Mears still showed plenty of promise for the Lillywhites following his move from Manchester City in 2002.
That was best exemplified when he finally got a chance of more regular football for North End in the 2005/06 season, when he helped them reach the Championship play-off semi-finals, with the quality of his performances enough to earn him a move to Premier League West Ham.
Joining Preston from Huddersfield in the summer of 2013, Clarke quickly established himself as a regular feature on the right-hand side of Preston’s defence, making a significant impact for the club.
No player made more appearances for North End than Clarke as they won promotion from League One during the 2014/15 season, and he continued to maintain an important presence for Preston as they re-established themselves in the Championship in the following years.
Clarke continues to be a reliable part of Preston’s squad to this day, racking up almost 250 appearances in all competitions for the Lancashire club, and earning himself the role of club captain despite his less regular appearances on the pitch in recent seasons.
The man now competing with Clarke for a starting spot on the right side of Preston’s defence, Fisher is now in his third season at Deepdale since joining from Rotherham in the summer of 2017.
During his time with the club, Fisher has racked up exactly 100 appearances in total for North End, helping them mount a push for the second-tier play-off places on a regular basis, as they look to end that long wait for a return to English football’s top-flight.
Despite the fact his discipline has the potential to cause problems at times, he is still a more than useful option for North End at the minute, and at 25-years-old, it could be argued that he has yet to fully reach the peak of his career.
Who is Preston’s best right-back of the millennium?