John Welsh praises talents of PNE youngster Ethan Walker

Former Preston North End midfielder John Welsh has praised the talents of young Lilywhites forward Ethan Walker.

Welsh, speaking on the I Had Trials Once… podcast, told host Jordan Hulme that the 17-year-old is “a good player. I did some coaching up there and he’s a good lad too.”

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Jordan Hulme himself is the top scorer at Altrincham where Walker recently joined on loan until the end of the season. Hulme said of the young player:

“I think he’s finding non-league a bit different to the way they play but you can tell he’s unbelievable especially his feet.

“You wouldn’t think he was 17 talking to him. He seems older than he is.”

Welsh, who now plies his trade for Atherton Collieries in the division below Altrincham, thinks the loan spell will only benefit the Preston prospect:

“It’s a good education for him that – football wise. It’s a man’s game. It’s totally different to what the kids are playing now. It’s a good education to find different ways to win games.”

The benefit of the intensity is something Hulme echoed:

“He was saying the other day that the pace of the game is something completely different to what he’s used to.”

Walker, speaking to the Altrincham website, said he has settled in quickly with his teammates that include Louis Moult’s brother Jake:

“The lads have been very easy to get on with and they’ve introduced themselves straight away.

“Phil [Parkinson], the gaffer doesn’t tell me how to play when I attack, he just tells me to square them one v one and do what I have to do. If I lose it, I lose it. I just need to react.”

Walker made his North End debut against Aston Villa in December 2018 and made his second appearance against Bradford City in the Carabao Cup in August of this year.

A first professional contract followed in October with Walker putting pen-to-paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

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