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Preston North End FC Backroom Staff Profiles

The profiles of the men from the Preston North End dugout.

Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson became manager of Preston North End following a hugely successful career as both a player and a manager in the English game.

The 43-year-old featured for Leeds Untied, Leicester City, Aston Villa and Blackburn Rovers as a full back or midfielder before signing for Blackpool following a spate of loan moves.

It was at Filbert Street he flourished and where he got his first taste of silverware when he won the League Cup with the Foxes in 1997 and was voted the club’s player of the season.

Grayson’s move to the Fylde coast was where his coaching career began as he took control of the reserve side in the 2004/05 season before being named the club’s caretaker manager following Colin Hendry’s departure in November 2005.

At the end of the 2005/06 season the Yorkshire man retired from playing to focus solely on the Seasiders’ managerial position which he was given full control of for the 2006/07 season.

His impact was immediate and with two manager of the month awards already in the bag he led Blackpool to the Championship with a 2-0 victory over Yeovil Town at Wembley in his first full season in charge.

The Ripon-born boss continued to build on that success by guiding Blackpool to the fourth round of the League Cup for the first time in 35 years and they finished 19th in the Championship – their highest league position since the 1970s.

Other clubs were now very aware of Grayson’s managerial pedigree and he moved to the club where his professional career had begun, Leeds United, in December 2008.

Again he started in spectacular fashion, winning 11 home games on the bounce to finish the season before guiding the club to the Championship the season after following a 2-1 victory over Bristol Rovers which saw the Elland Road outfit gain automatic promotion.

Leeds and Grayson parted company in January 2012, but he was soon back in the managerial hot-seat, this time at fellow Yorkshire side Huddersfield Town. 

Town made it to the Play-Off Final in 2011/12 and Grayson again worked his magic by guiding the Terriers to victory over Sheffield United before his tenure ended in January 2013.

And North End wasted no time in capturing the proven promotion winner, signing Grayson up with the hope he might emulate his past successes at Deepdale.

In his first 14 games in charge, the Yorkshire-man guided Preston to five wins, six draws and just three defeats, ensuring the Club finished 14th in League One.

Grayson then led North End to an impressive fifth place finish in 2013/14, but the Lilywhites lost to Rotherham United in the Play-Off semi-final which ended their hopes of promotion.

But in 2014/15 it all clicked once again for Grayson.

With only one home defeat all season in league action, Grayson guided his side to a 19 game unbeaten run from February before North End’s promotion train hit the buffers on the final day of the season against Colchester United.

So the dreaded Play-Offs it was to be – but that fear was soon blown apart as PNE blitz Chesterfield in the semi-finals before dissecting Swindon Town 4-0 in the Wembley showpiece as Preston gained promotion to the Championship – the team not conceding a single goal in that Play-Off run.

In the Club's first season back in the Championship in 2015/16, Grayson guided the team to an 11th place finish after an impressive first season for the newly promoted side.

Glynn Snodin

Assistant Manager
Glynn Snodin joined the Preston North End backroom staff here at Deepdale after being Simon Grayson’s right hand man since he joined Leeds United in February 2009 and helped guide the club to promotion from League One the following season.

The experienced coach spent most of his playing career in neighbouring Yorkshire, featuring for Doncaster Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United before loan spells at Oldham Athletic and home town club Rotherham United.

He then headed north of the border to play for Scottish capital side Hearts – where he scored against Slavia Prague in the in the UEFA Cup, before heading back to Yorkshire with Barnsley.

His playing career came to a close following a stint with Northern Premier League Club Gainsborough Trinity.

Snodin made his mark as a midfield player while at Doncaster, making over 300 appearances for the club and scoring 59 times before earning a £135,000 move to Wednesday, followed by a £150,000 transfer to Leeds.

As time wound down on his playing career the ‘Glynn Snodin Soccer Academy’ was launched before a scouting role at Carlisle United lured the Yorkshire man to Cumbria whilst he sat his coaching qualifications.

Under the stewardship of Mick Wadsworth, Snodin took up the youth team coaching job at Scarborough before returning to the place where it all began, Doncaster, to assist his brother Ian with first team matters.

The new millennium saw a new adventure for Snodin as he took up the reigns at Charlton Athletic as reserve team manager – guiding them to the Reserve League title in 2004 and 2005.

After obtaining his UEFA Pro Licence alongside George Burley, the Scot took Snodin to the south coast where he filled the position of first team coach before being announced as assistant manager to Nigel Worthington at Northern Ireland in June 2007.

He once again teamed up with Alan Curbishley at West Ham United before Gianfranco Zola’s arrival resulted in Snodin departing London’s East End.

Snodin then teamed up with Simon Grayson at Leeds were the pair masterminded the Elland Road club’s promotion to the Championship before doing likewise at fellow Yorkshire side Huddersfield Town last season.

And now, with that feat replicated at Deepdale, Snodin will be ably assisting Grayson for their second season in the Championship with PNE during the 2016/17 campaign.

Steve Thompson
First Team Coach 
Steve Thompson has been appointed first team coach at Preston North End ahead of the 2015/16 season.
Thompson joins Simon Grayson's backroom staff once again, after working under him at Blackpool, where the pair won promotion to the Championship.
The pair's first footballing partnership came at Leicester City, when both men represented the Foxes as they earned promotion to the Premier League in 1994 via the Championship Play-Offs.
Most recently, Thompson was assistant manager to Neil Redfearn at Leeds United, playing a major part in their improved form during 2015, before leaving the Club.
Bringing a wealth of experience to the role, Thompson is an exciting addition to the team at PNE.

Alan Kelly Jnr
Goalkeeping Coach
Son of Preston North End legend Alan Kelly Snr, and prominent Lilywhites shot stopper in his own right, Alan Kelly Jnr was appointed goalkeeping coach at Deepdale in April 2013.

Kelly made 142 appearances for North End during a seven year stint with the Club between 1985 and 1992, before moving onto Sheffield United, and, later, Blackburn Rovers.

The former Republic of Ireland international made 34 appearances for his country, although, despite being named part of both 1994 and 2002 World Cup squads, he never made an appearance in the competition.

He did however find success with Lancashire neighbours Blackburn, securing the League Cup in 2002 under the management of Graham Souness.

The Preston-born ‘keeper spent another couple of seasons with Rovers after the victory before finally hanging up his gloves in 2004, ending his Club career with over 400 appearances in all competitions.

Following his retirement, Kelly Jr entertained the idea of coaching, and, in the summer of 2006, the Irishman made his way to America to coach young goalkeepers at soccer academy camps in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

There, Kelly caught the coaching bug, and he was later snapped up by his country to teach ‘keepers at international level.

Then, in 2011, Phil Brown was dismissed as manager of the Lilywhites, leaving Graham Alexander and David Unsworth to take temporary charge.

That meant Kelly Jr, who had spent 18 months with the club’s Academy, was promoted to the first team goalkeeping coach on a temporary basis - before being replaced when Graham Westley was appointed first team manager.

However, following the appointment of Simon Grayson, Kelly Jr was appointed in the role on a permanent basis ahead of the 2013/14 campaign.

Kelly continues to nurture and educate the current crop of goalkeepers at North End.

Matt Jackson
First Team Physio

Physio Matt Jackson is one of the club's longest serving members of staff and is a holder of both sport science and physiotherapy degrees.   

Jackson, a former North End Academy prospect, has been in charge of keeping the treatment room at Deepdale and Springfields as empty as possible for many years now and is a key cog in the Preston wheel.