Tom Clarke admits the captain’s job is easy when players like Scott Sinclair sign. One of his roles as skipper is to introduce the new player to his team-mates, but the former Celtic and Manchester City winger needed no introduction.
Tom has seen a number of players come and go through the Deepdale door since he signed for the club in May 2013, but he didn’t need to provide any background information on 30-year-old Scott, who did the treble-treble with the Scottish giants as well as celebrating a Wembley hat-trick which took Swansea into the Premier League.
“It shows how far the club has come,” said the defender, when he spoke to the matchday pro-gramme for this weekend’s clash with Charlton Athletic. “Scott is a big signing for us, he has played for a lot of big teams in a lot of huge games and has come to us from a big club like Celtic, it’s a real coup.
“But, at the end of the day, he is a footballer like the rest of us and it’s important that he is a nice lad which he is. He has fitted in well straight away and is probably eager to get out onto the pitch and show what he is all about.
“I am, I suppose, the player liaison, I have to follow him around and make sure he knows where everything is and introduce him to the lads.
“But it’s been easy as he is a great lad and he is experienced so he knows what it’s about.
“Scott and Nuge [David Nugent] are probably different to the gaffer’s usual signings but you need that experience.
“Nuge never needed a settling in period as he knew the gaffer and the club so he fitted in straight away.
“You want these players to improve us as a team, but also off the pitch to be great lads and they both are.
“And getting Nuge and Scott has helped our oldies versus youngies training games!”
Tom, 32, admitted, when he came to PNE from Huddersfield Town, he didn’t think he would be midway through his seventh season at Deepdale, showing players like Scott Sinclair around.
“I probably didn’t think I would still be here when I first signed. I had been at Huddersfield since I was eight-years-old, made my debut at 16, left them at 25 after a couple of loans and I had been there a long time.
“It was at a time where I needed to move on and, coming here, you never know how it is going to go.
“Time has flown, I can’t believe how long it’s been and what we have achieved in the time I have been here.
“When I signed I knew it was a big club, a massive stadium, we were in League One and it was all geared up to the next level and that was the aim, to do that.
“Simon Grayson was manager at the time and we had good players, a good squad and it took a couple of seasons but we eventually did it.
“It was hard as we were a big scalp in League One and we had some good players, Jermaine Beck-ford, Joe Garner, Kev Davies.
“It was difficult week in week out but then to get promoted at Wembley was brilliant and I think we have propelled forward since then.”
There is loads more from Clarkey in Saturday’s edition of The One And Only, which also includes interviews and features with Alan Browne, Josh Harrop, Gary Brazil, Paul Hayes and more.
This is another packed full 84-pages, on sale from Friday afternoon from the Sir Tom Finney Stand ticket office, or from inside and outside the stadium on matchday, still for just £3 per copy.