Lancaster City have swooped for promising Preston North End left-back Jack Armer on a three-month loan deal.
The Dolly Blues have been on the search for someone to play on the left side of their defence following the departure of Paul Dugdale, who joined Clitheroe earlier this summer.
Boss Mark Fell enquired about the possibility of borrowing Armer, who signed his first professional contract with the Lilywhites in May.
Having been part of PNE’s youth set-up since the age of seven, big things are expected of 18-year-old Armer for the future.
And a spell playing in the nitty gritty of the Northern Premier League should aid his development.
Fell believes Armer should look at the example set by fellow North End academy graduate Josh Earl, who spent time on loan at Giant Axe in 2017 and is now a key part of Alex Neil’s first-team squad.
Armer played on Tuesday night as City played out an entertaining 3-3 draw with National League outfit Barrow at Giant Axe.
“Jack played as a trialist on Tuesday night, he played at left-back and was brilliant,” said Fell.
“He is a young lad who we have taken on loan from Preston. That deal has been done.
“He’s a Scottish Under-18s international and we have done a deal to take him for the first three months of the season. If his performance on Tuesday night is a sign of things to come then we have got ourselves a cracking player.”
Armer is over 6ft and can play at centre-back, but what really caught Fell’s eye was his skills going forward, especially his crossing ability.
“I do think Jack has got a bright future in the game,” Fell said.
“I know he’s really highly rated by the people at Preston.
“I was at Preston myself for six years in the youth department and I know the people there and they say he has a really good chance.
“He put in three wonderful crosses against Barrow – they were really flat, loads of pace.
“I was talking to our striker Jason Walker after the game and I teased him a little bit and said he should have been on the end of those crosses.
“Jason said, ‘I haven’t been used to those kind of crosses for many years’, so if he can get that level of service when the season starts, he will be very happy.”
Meanwhile, Fell believes his men can take a lot of confidence out of the result and performance against Barrow.
The Dolly Blues came from behind three times to earn a share of the spoils against the Cumbrians, who are two divisions above them in the football pyramid. Brad Carsley scored twice and Charlie Bailey notched the other.
“It was a great test for us because obviously they are a full-time football club,” Fell said.
“They had a lot of the ball, but from our perspective, we were organised and had good shape throughout the game.
“We conceded three goals which were three bits of absolute quality.
“The third goal was the most thunderous free-kick which I have ever seen.
“But we have been behind three times in the game and come back.
“We just kept going and going and deserved to get something out of the game.
“There are some lads who have really impressed me in pre-season.
“Charlie Bailey has been brilliant and scored against Barrow.
“Brad Carsley got two and set the other up and we are really starting to see from Brad the player that we know he is.”
This weekend, City have an attractive home fixture against Welsh side Llandudno.
“They got relegated from the Welsh Premier League so they are that kind of standard,” Fell said.
“It’s probably similar standard to our league. They have just played Nantwich Town and lost 2-0.”
City have added another game to their friendly list, they will host Fleetwood Under-23s on August 6.