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First Team News

Greg Named Stand-In Captain

24 July 2017

Greg Cunningham has been confirmed as the club’s stand-in captain whilst regular captain Tom Clarke recovers from injury.

Upon his return, Tom Clarke will resume his role as the first team captain but due to the lengthy nature of his injury Greg Cunningham will be stepping into the role in the meantime.

Alex Neil chose the Irishman as his stand-in skipper, and on his decision, he said: "The experienced lads are going to be important and there are always players that the other players look towards and I think Greg is one of those characters in the changing room.

"While Tom is injured I think it's important that we've got a team captain and I thought Greg fitted the bill perfectly.

"It's important that your captain is somebody who you would expect to play most of the games for you, hopefully if Greg continues to play as well as he has done then that should remain the case. 

Speaking to iFollow PNE about the role Greg was full of pride and excitement for his first official game against Sheffield Wednesday - but the Irishman was clear that the captaincy belongs to Clarke.

“It’s a great honour for me, I’m really looking forward to getting out there. It’s a great responsibility to have, I’m very grateful for the gaffer for giving me this opportunity.

“All the family will be over so it will be a proud moment for myself and all the family. I’m looking forward to the first game of the season but there is that added pride.

“I’m looking forward to having that armband until Clarkey comes back. Clarkey’s been phenomenal since I’ve come to the club and he’s been a big loss to us.

“He’s working hard and we’re dying to get him back as soon as possible. However long I have the armband is however long it is; but I’m hoping Clarkey can get back as soon as possible to help us throughout the season.”

The new stand-in skipper will be looking to make his mark in a white shirt to new manager Alex Neil whose impact has been evident in only a short time at Deepdale. With him, Neil has looked to bring a new style of play to the Lilywhites and Cunningham feels that it gives the young squad the opportunity for expression.

“We’ve been doing a lot of work on the training pitch with the gaffer working on how he wants us to play. It is going to take a bit of time until we can perfect that but we are working very hard.

“We have had a few games now where we can try and do what he’s asked us to. It’ll take a bit of time throughout the season to get things going but we’re absorbing everything day by day and we’re working really hard.

“There’s a hungry group here - a relatively young squad, but in saying that, there is a lot of quality here as well. So we’re looking forward to expressing ourselves this season; working very hard and hopefully the results will show.”

Watch the full interview with Cunningham on iFollow by clicking on the video above.


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