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First Team News

Dec Delighted To Extend Deepdale Stay

17 April 2020

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Goalkeeper Declan Rudd was delighted to sign a new three-year deal at Preston North End, extending his stay at Deepdale until at least the summer of 2023.

Rudd has been in fine form for the Lilywhites this season but he feels his best years are still ahead of him and he's happy they will be with PNE after a long affiliation with the club, extending back to a loan spell in 2013.

Speaking to iFollow PNE via Zoom from his home after signing the contract, the 29-year-old said: It's been something that we've talking about for quite a while now. It was just the fact that my wife and kids are moving back down to Norfolk and I think that was the only thing that was really slowing it down. We've both decided that I'm happy at Preston and I think it's the perfect thing to do to extend my time here.

"As a goalkeeper you peak a bit later, I'm 29 now and in football terms, as a goalkeeper you are just starting to develop in to a mature goalkeeper. I think I've played nearly over 250 games now at a variety of levels, I've made the mistakes, had the good games and I just feel like it's more natural to me now and I don't have to think about it as much and I think that's important.

"I think this season has been a good season for me, hopefully the next three years I can keep going.

"I have been at the club a few years now and I think I have definitely matured on and off the pitch. Having two kids does that as well, it's probably added 20 years on to me!

"On the pitch I'm starting to feel a lot more comfortable and enjoying a lot more and not really thinking about what I have to do, it just comes a bit more naturally. It's good to be a senior figure in the squad, but even though it's a young squad in age, most players have played over 100 games. For players of their age to have played that many games is good because that's only going to help us in the future."

The No.1 added that the way the club has handled the current global health crisis only increased his desire to extend his stay, praising owner Mr Hemmings and citing that as a big factor in signing his new deal.

"It's credit to how the club is run, it's run really well and to be in a situation like we are, to keep running as normal is credit to the owner and what he has done. I know when I was here for the first time on loan, this situation probably wouldn't have helped the club at all but he's steadied the ship now, he's got it going in the right direction.

"It was a huge reason for me wanting to stay at the club because it is run properly and I think that is important because there are so many clubs doing it wrong, chucking money at everything, then two years later they are getting point deducted and you just have to look at some of the situations clubs are in now, they are really in deep trouble because they ran it wrong. This club has been run properly, some say it's a good thing, some say it's a bad thing but I think it can only be a good thing and a positive thing going forward."

With uncertainty still surrounding a return to action as the health of the nation remains a crucial priority, Dec feels the wait for a return will only increase the hunger and desire within the squad to succeed when they do get back out on the pitch.

"I know the fans are missing it and they want to be out watching the games but hopefully this will bring the hunger back for everyone and hopefully we can really make the most of this bad situation if you can. Hopefully everyone is well and not struggled too much with the situation and hopefully when football does return it can get back to being what it was, if not better.

"Going in to this period of uncertainty, we were probably looking a bit tired as a squad, we weren't quite at it like we had been and performances weren't up there like they were. This is probably a time where everyone can recharge their batteries and get ready because it's basically like a little World Cup, a nine-game season, that's now you've got to look at it and we are in one of the best positions.

"If we go out there and do our jobs properly then we've got a great chance of reaching the Play-Offs. The main thing at the moment though is getting out of this situation with everyone being healthy and not too many problems along the way and hopefully we can get back to it being enjoyable again.

"It's like a little Champions League I suppose! We have got nine games to finish in a certain position and then you get the Play-Offs. It's exciting, every player is now buzzing to get back and I think all of the fans are looking forward to it. Whether they will have to watch it on TV or something we don't know how it is going to pan out, but regardless, we have got a job to do. I am sure we are all looking after ourselves at home to be as fit and strong as we can be when we return."

Watch the full interview with Dec on iFollow PNE now by clicking on the video above.


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