Double joy for PNE’s German keeper

Preston goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann enjoyed his country's World Cup final win
Preston goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckmann enjoyed his country's World Cup final win
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Thorsten Stuckmann will swap his Germany shirt for a Preston North End goalkeeper’s top this evening as the Lilywhites play their opening pre-season friendly game at Chorley.

It has been an extremely good few days for PNE’s German shot-stopper, with his country’s World Cup success coming just after he became a dad for the second time.

The 33-year-old turned up at Springfields yesterday wearing a Germany shirt in honour of Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Argentina at the Maracana.

But his full focus later today will be on a run-out with the North End side against Garry Flitcroft’s Magpies at Victory Park (7pm).

Stuckmann told the Evening Post: “It has been a great time for me just recently.

“My baby boy, Lasse, was born in Germany. I’m so proud of him and I cannot wait until my family join me back in England later this week.

“Everyone is well – mum, baby and his big brother.

“I’m so grateful to the manager who allowed me to stay in Germany to be part of the birth – I cannot thank him enough.

“As for the World Cup win, I thought that was fully deserved for Germany.

“We were the best team during the whole tournament and showed a lot of quality.

“In the first half of the final I thought they played very well, although Argentina had a couple of good chances.

“The chance that Higuain missed was a big moment – after that I had a good feeling that we were going to win. When the goal went in I jumped across the room, I was so happy.

“I turned up for training in a Germany shirt, wearing it before and after – but not for the session itself!

“After being runners-up and twice finishing third, I think it was Germany’s time to win the World Cup.

“I would say they are big favourites for the Euros in two years time as the team is young, apart from Miroslav Klose.”

Most of the Preston squad will get a run-out tonight, with the intention being to play a different team in each half.

So that is likely to see Stuckmann sharing glove duties with summer signing Jamie Jones.

He will hope for more first-team action in 2014/15 than last season ,when he was limited to just two appearances – against Burnley in the Capital One Cup and Oldham in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

“I want to be involved more and it has felt good to be back in training,” said Stuckmann.

“Jamie Jones and myself are here to compete for the keeper’s position and we will both be looking to show the manager what we can do.

“I’ve been back in training for a week now and Alan Kelly is taking care of the goalkeepers’ preparation.

“Our work is a bit different to the outfield players in that we don’t need to make 80 to 90-yard runs on the pitch. It is all short, sharp work, making sure the reflexes are right.”

Admission for tonight’s game is £7 for adults, £5 for seniors (Over-60s), £3 for juniors aged 12-16, while Under-12s are free when accompanied by a paying adult.