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Training

Whites Christmas: Football Coach Has A Training Session To Remember

16 December 2016

Football coach Kieran Miller had the shock of his life when Preston North End's Callum Robinson, Stevie May and Paul Huntington walked in on his training session.

Kieran, who coaches Ribbleton U9s was nominated by fellow coach Darren Greaves to receive a special PNE themed Christmas surprise as part of Whites Christmas in an attempt to raise his spirits ahead of the festive season.

Kieran suffers from Cystic Fibrosis meaning trips to the hospital are a frequent occurence. He has already had a double lung transplant and was recently told that his kidneys are now failing.

Despite Kieran's problems, he remains commited to his grassroots side and rarely misses training or a match, a pivotal reason as to why Darren decided to nominate him for a Whites Christmas surprise.

The players were accompanied by Sky, who came down to capture the surprise and watch on with North End also inviting community coach, Jack Stevens to coach the session as part of the evening. 

Darren had been in contact with the club for several weeks to organise the evening, and managed to keep it all under wraps meaning the whole event was a complete surprise for Kieran who was still in shock when he spoke after the session.

"I thought we were having a tournament or something to be honest," said Kieran whose suspicions aroused when there were more parents at the session than usual.

"Then I saw the cameras and the players and it all clicked - It was such a shock.

"I was very surprised - I was thinking why me? who's done this?

"What a surprise though! Coaching these lads provides an escapism for me and it helps me take my mind off things and not think about medication and it gets me out of the house so it all does me good."

Spearheading the surprise was Huntington, who alongside May and Robinson presented Kieran with a signed shirt as well as tickets for him and his team for last week's Lancashire derby against Blackburn Rovers.

"It's a bit of a strange one really as you never know how they're going to react," said Hunts after interrupting Kieran's training session.

"Obviously with the cameras and sky coming in along with us it's quite a big thing but thankfully it went quite well. The kids have enjoyed us joining in with their training session so it's been good and it's been enjoyable.

"The kids are full of enthusiam," the defender continued. "They were loving it and plenty of them have got ability. The main thing at that age is their enjoyment and not taking it too seriously and we've enjoyed coming down.

"We've done the Whites Christmas for the last couple of years but this year the club have put a real drive into it and if the kids have enjoyed it and Kieran appreciates us coming down and if that makes his night then that's great."

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