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First Team News

Dai Grateful To Extend Stay At Preston North End

18 January 2024

First Team News

Dai Grateful To Extend Stay At Preston North End

18 January 2024

Dai Cornell says he’s grateful for the opportunity to extend his stay at Preston North End after penning a new deal with the club.

The goalkeeper, whose contract was due to expire this summer, has signed new terms and will now stay at Deepdale until at least the summer of 2026.

Before that time comes around, the 32-year-old is hopeful he and his teammates can push further towards their ultimate goal.

Dai said: “I’m really happy and really grateful for the opportunity to extend my stay here, and fingers crossed we have some successful times.

“As a club, within that dressing room, and even in this [office] part of the building I think everyone wants to achieve the same thing and that is getting to the Premier League.

“I think the club’s ready to do it. It’s just us as a playing staff and management taking that next step to push to get us there.”

Dai has made three appearances during his 18 months with the club, while continuously pushing No.1 Freddie Woodman when not involved.

The most recent of those fixtures came just before Christmas when he made his Championship bow for North End in an away fixture against the club where he started out – Swansea City.

Unfortunately, that match ended in a late defeat, however it was an occasion which the goalkeeper enjoyed being part of.

He said: “It was one I wasn’t really expecting the Swansea game to be honest, but it was one I went in and enjoyed up until they scored.

“But it was good, I really enjoyed it. I was hoping for obviously a longer run but Fred came back in and we got a positive result [against Leeds] so it was all good.

“I work to prepare for every single game as all of us do, just in case you’re needed. I did enjoy it until they scored in the 93rd minute which was disappointing.

“Off the back of that, for us to go and beat Leeds at home in front of however many fans was great.”

Away from football, the shot-stopper has been heavily involved in the work of Preston North End Community and Education Trust, while also playing a key role in the launch of the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower campaign at Deepdale.

Dai’s partner Shaunie and daughter Delilah were part of a story which kickstarted the introduction of the Sunflower at Deepdale, and them being settled in Lancashire was another factor to his contract decision.

Dai said: “With my little one starting school in September it was something that if it [the offer] did come it was something we wanted to do, so we obviously appreciate the chance to stay here longer and fingers crossed I can be here for many years.”

Speaking about his work in the Community, Dai added: “I think it was something I looked at where I’ll come in every day and work as hard as I can, try and push Fred as much as possible, and if I can't make a difference on the pitch, can I do something off it?

“Especially the Sunflower campaign was great. I enjoy things like that on the side as well, so fingers crossed we can carry on to push that side of things whilst pushing Fred and see where we go.”

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