The goalkeeper spent an afternoon at the college where he met and spoke to learners studying level 1-3 vocational courses, and provided the young people with a real source of inspiration as they look to forge their own careers in their respected industry.
Declan answered questions on the highs and lows he underwent when making it as a professional footballer, and also had words of encouragement for those who had ever been written off or received criticism.
“I was told that I wasn’t good enough technically to be a footballer,” said the 27-year-old during his talk with students.
“All I wanted to be was a footballer; it meant I had to make lots of sacrifices growing up like staying in instead of going out with my mates and doing what 17 and 18-year-olds normally do at that age.
“Those sacrifices and that hard work that I had to put in when I was younger have paid off as I’m now doing something I love everyday.”
Preston’s College Construction Curriculum Leader, Phil Parle, was equally encouraged by the assembly which also saw the shot stopper hand out the Learner of the Month Award to Connor Fitzgerald, who studies Level 1 Electrical Installation, for his efforts in class.
Phil said: “Declan’s visit to Preston’s College had a positive impact on our construction learners across all trades.
“The college aims to make learners the most employable and Declan provided learners with helpful and motivational advice about the significance of working hard to achieve your goals.
“Preston’s College would like to wish Declan, and the Preston North End team the best of luck for the rest of the championship season.”