Ebanks-Blake joins Spireites

Ebanks-Blake scored once for PNE against Yeovil
Ebanks-Blake scored once for PNE against Yeovil
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Sylvan Ebanks-Blake is the latest player released by Preston North End to get fixed-up with a new club for next season.

The 29-year-old striker has signed for Chesterfield, the club who PNE beat over two legs in the play-off semi-final.

It sees him reunited with Spireites boss Dean Saunders who briefly managed him during his time at Wolves.

Saunders got the Proact Stadium job last month after Paul Cook quit to take over at Portsmouth.

Ebanks-Blake’s spell with North End was a relatively brief one.

He came on trial at the start of November and over the next couple of months got himself fit and earned a contract until the end of the season.

His debut came in the FA Cup win over Norwich City on January 13, with him making 13 appearances in total.

But only two of those were starts, against Sheffield United in the FA Cup and the league defeat at Crawley .

His one goal in PNE colours was the equaliser in January’s 1-1 draw with Yeovil. In the early part of his stay, Ebansk-Blake was one of only two fit strikers available to Preston boss Simon Grayson.

But the return of Joe Garner and Jermaine Beckford from injury and illness respectively, limited his use.

His last appearances was a late substitute in the 1-0 defeat at Colchester.

Ebanks-Blake did not make the matchday squad for the play-off matches – Jordan Hugill was preferred ahead of him on the bench after his return from a loan spell at Hartlepool.

Announcing the capture of Ebanks-Blake, Chesterfield boss Saunders said: “Sylvan is just what the team needs.

“He is strong and when the ball comes into the box, he’s where he should be.

“Sylvan is hungry to play and he wants to be part of a winning team.”

Ebanks-Blake has followed Jack King, Scott Wiseman, David Buchanan, Keith Keane and Lee Holmes out of Deepdale – all their contracts were due to expire at the end of this month.

They got themselves new clubs before PNE made public their retained list four days after the play-off victory over Swindon at Wembley.

King and Wiseman both signed two-year contracts at Scunthorpe United.

Left-back Buchanan will play for Northampton next season, Keane has joined Cambridge, while Holmes signed a permanent deal with Exeter after a loan spell there.

Releasing them, Grayson said: “They leave this club as Championship players and we wish them well.”