Accrington Stanley’s summer signing John O’Sullivan admitted the Preston North End friendly on Saturday has extra appeal for him.
The midfielder will come up against one of his best mate's Sean Maguire, the duo met at Stanley, ‘Johnno’ coming on loan from Blackburn Rovers and ‘Seani’ from West Ham in September 2014.
They played together in John Coleman’s first game back in charge at Northampton, a pulsating 5-4 win where O’Sullivan scored twice and Maguire once.
From then, the two formed a friendship with O’Sullivan playing in the lower leagues in England while Maguire went back to Ireland, scoring goals for fun at Cork, and was such a success Championship side North End snapped him up in 2017.
“As soon as the fixture came out, I sent him a screenshot saying ‘See you in a few weeks lad’, said 27-year-old O’Sullivan.
“Since that first game for Accy, Northampton away, where I scored two and Seani scored one, as Coley said it was one of the best games he has been involved in.
“At Accy, I lived with Seani in Preston, we ate, slept, played football together for a couple of years.
“Since then we have become best mates, go on holidays together, speak most days, he is one of my best mates. We met here seven or eight years ago and I think this is the first time I have ever played against him so it should be a good game.
“Seani had a different path, he was released from West Ham and went back to Ireland and he was one of the best goalscorers to ever play in the League Of Ireland and that’s testament to the lad he is and how hard he worked, he had to dig deep, and got his move to PNE.
“I am proud of him as a friend that he has done so well.”
O’Sullivan is looking forward to playing in front of the fans at the Wham again, after two previous loan spells with the Reds.
“My first spell here was my first taste of league football and I loved it and I loved my second spell as well. My career has gone in different directions since then but I always felt, and I said when I signed, that I had unfinished business at Accy and the gaffer and Jimmy (Bell) know exactly what kind of lad and player I am. After last season at Morecambe, I think I am ready to step up again and challenge myself.
“I can’t wait for the fans to be back. When I was here last time I had a close relationship with them. I wear my heart on my sleeve, I work hard and I can’t wait to see them on Saturday!”
Tickets for Saturday's pre-season friendly are still on sale from the club's retail shop, with tickets also available to purchase up until kick-off from the matchday ticket office.
Adult tickets are priced at £10, with all Concession tickets priced at £5.
The full pre-match interview video with John O'Sullivan is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!