Lancaster City boss Phil Brown has been impressed with the start made by Preston North End loanee Josh Earl.
The winger is the third Deepdale youngster to get senior game time at Giant Axe this season after Dylan Davidson and Adam Robinson.
Earl is hoping to help the Dolly Blues lift the NPL First Division North title, Brown’s side second in the division ahead of hosting play-off chasing Colne on Saturday.
The City boss knows all about the 18-year-old having coached him at Under 15 level while also currently being the Lilywhites academy’s head of education.
“I asked him why he wanted to come here and he said he was looking for a challenge,” said Brown.
“He’s played under 18 football for the last couple of years and wanted to test himself in open age football.
“He’s come with the right attitude and wants to kick on.
“He’ll develop with the physicality and intensity that goes with playing at this level.
“He’s really clear about what he wants to get out of it and that means I’ve got a fully focused player.
“Knowing him, I know he’s here to do his best.”
Earl made his debut off the bench in the 3-0 win at Radcliffe Borough last time out and nearly added further gloss to the scoreline on a good away day for the Dolly Blues.
“He did really well,” said Brown.
“He’s got good feet, is confident on the ball and linked up well with other players.
“He made a couple of opportunities and knowing Josh he will be disappointed he didn’t take one.
“He’s hit the ground running and it’s great to have him.”
The one-month work experience loan means Earl could have a big say in whether City pip Farsley to the title come April 22.
Any appearance at Giant Axe this weekend would be his second, the versatile forward who impressed in North End’s run to the FA Youth Cup quarter-finals having featured in a PNE XI triumphing 3-0 over Lancaster in a pre-season friendly back in August.