New deals for Preston duo

Date published: Thursday 28th May 2015 5:51

Winston Reid: Breaks Sunderland hearts

North End were promoted to the Championship on Sunday after crushing Swindon 4-0 in the League One play-off final at Wembley and Simon Grayson’s squad for the second tier is already beginning to take shape.

Clarke and Huntington will remain at Deepdale for that tilt at the Championship, as will Bailey Wright – another member of the back-four that did not concede a goal during the play-offs – after the Australia international’s one-year option was exercised.

Former England cap Davies, 38, made 44 appearances this term but was used primarily as a substitute behind the prolific pair of Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford.

However, he has expressed a desire to continue playing next season and another term with the Lilywhites could be on the cards.

Of those released, Keith Keane, Jack King, Lee Holmes, Scott Wiseman and David Buchanan have already found new homes, but Sylvain Ebanks-Blake must also seek pastures new.

Scott Laird, John Welsh, Chris Humphrey, Thorsten Stuckmann and Steven James have all been offered fresh terms by Preston, who have activated one-year deals for Jack Ryan and Nick Anderton, and given Jack Sampson his first professional contract.

In explaining his retained list, Grayson also reiterated his desire to bring loanees Sam Johnstone, Paul Gallagher and Wembley hat-trick hero Beckford back to the club.

“We are obviously delighted to have Tom Clarke and Paul Huntington agree new deals,” Grayson told Preston’s official website.

“I have made it quite public that I would like to retain Sam Johnstone, Paul Gallagher and Jermaine Beckford so negotiations will be taking place with the relevant parties on all three.

“We are in discussions with Kevin Davies about a role at the football club in terms of playing and possibly a coaching capacity.

“It’s a busy time; a disappointing time for some, a good time for others, but it’s what happens at football clubs and you have to move on.

“It has been a great year for everybody connected with the club, so these lads that didn’t play a part at the weekend have still played a massive part all season and that’s why on Tuesday it was a very difficult day for a lot of people concerned.

“They can leave this football club as Championship players and that is why none of them are going to be short of first-team football anywhere.

“They have been a joy to work with and it was a very difficult decision but as a football club you have to move on, you have to make sure you keep improving, and those lads go with my best wishes and I am sure they will have a fantastic future in the game still and I look forward to seeing them again in the future, so a big, big thanks to them.”

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