PNE ace Chris going for Gold!

Chris Humphrey has reached the Gold Cup final with Jamaica

Chris Humphrey has reached the Gold Cup final with Jamaica

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Preston North End winger Chris Humphrey will be hoping to return to Deepdale next week with a Gold Cup winners’ medal around his neck.

Humphrey is in the Jamaica squad which has reached the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup for the first time in their history.

The Reggae Boyz take on Mexico in Philadelphia during the early hours of Monday morning.

They are surprise finalists, having beaten the United States – the tournament favourites and co-hosts – 2-1 in the semi-finals on Thursday.

Humphrey played the last 10 minutes of that game as a substitute – his second appearance of the competition following a run-out against Haiti in the quarter-finals.

His involvement in the Gold Cup has meant that he has missed all but the first day of North End’s pre-season training programme.

But PNE manager Simon Grayson is delighted to see him in the final and has wished him all the best for the clash with the Mexicans.

Grayson said: “It is brilliant for Chris that Jamaica have got this far and I have sent him a text to wish him luck.

“I think we will see him back here in the middle of next week and we will assess him then to see where his fitness is compared to the other lads.

“He has been in the training camp with Jamaica but with them playing a lot of games, perhaps Chris won’t have been getting the intensive training that our squad have had.

“We will test whether the work he has done is enough to give him a base fitness for the whole of the season or whether we have to do some extra work with him.

“Chris kept himself in shape over the summer, knowing he was going to the Gold Cup.

“We had him here on the first morning of pre-season training to measure where his fitness levels wereand we will be able to see where he’s at when he comes back.

“It is a case of seeing how he is, compared to the other lads and compared to the same stage last year.”