Clarke and Huntington agree new PNE deals

PNE skipper Tom Clarke has signed a new contract

PNE skipper Tom Clarke has signed a new contract

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Preston North End skipper Tom Clarke and the club’s player of the year Paul Huntington have signed new two-year contracts at Deepdale.

New deals have also been offered to Scott Laird, Chris Humphrey, John Welsh, Thorsten Stuckmann and Steven James.

PNE have taken up one-year options on Bailey Wright, Jack Ryan and Nick Anderton, while Josh Sampson has signed his first professional contract after coming through the North End youth ranks.

Talks have begun with 38-year-old Kevin Davies over a combined playing and coaching role.

For the time being, loan players Jermaine Beckford, Sam Johnstone and Paul Gallagher have returned to their parent clubs.

But all three are permanent targets for North End this summer.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, who joined on a short-term contract in January, has been released.

Five players who will be out of contract this summer have already agreed terms with new clubs.

Jack King and Scott Wiseman have joined Scunthorpe, David Buchanan is joining Northampton, Lee Holmes has signed for Exeter while Keith Keane will move to Cambridge United.

North End manager Simon Grayson said: “We are obviously delighted to have Tom Clarke and Paul Huntington agree new deals.

“I have made it quite public that I would like to retain Sam Johnstone, Paul Gallagher and Jermaine Beckford so negotiations will be taking place with the relevant parties on all three.

“We are in discussions with Kevin Davies about a role at the football club in terms of playing and possibly a coaching capacity.

“It’s a busy time; a disappointing time for some, a good time for others, but it’s what happens at football clubs and you have to move on.

“It has been a great year for everybody connected with the club, so these lads that didn’t play a part at the weekend have still played a massive part all season and that’s why on Tuesday it was a very difficult day for a lot of people concerned.

“They can leave this football club as Championship players and that is why none of them are going to be short of first team football anywhere.

“They have been a joy to work with and it was a very difficult decision but as a football club you have to move on, you have to make sure you keep improving, and those lads go with my best wishes and I am sure they will have a fantastic future in the game still and I look forward to seeing them again in the future, so a big thanks to them.”