Home comforts works for PNE

Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson
  • Preston doing the hard yards over pre-season in familiar surroundings
  • Money saved by not going overseas could fund a player in the future
  • North End face Hearts at Deepdale on Saturday
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Simon Grayson believes that Preston North End staying relatively close to home during pre-season could benefit his budget further down the line.

While the trend in football is for foreign training camps and overseas tour, the bulk of PNE’s fitness work is being done at Springfields.

“We have been doing our work here which suits us fine and works well.

They venture to Scotland later next week for a few days, playing Motherwell at Livingston’s ground on Friday and then staying up there for some training.

But that is the furthest they will venture during the build-up to the Championship.

North End boss told the Evening Post: “The top teams go away on tours to fulfil obligations to sponsors and they get paid for going.

“You do wonder if travelling around the world is ideal preparation for them but they are contracted to go.

“We have been doing our work here which suits us fine and works well.

“Next week we are going to spend four days in Scotland which is something I’ve done in the past at other clubs.

“There’s not a lot of travelling involved and it is a change of scene.

“Sometimes the money you save by not going on these big tours can pay for another player coming in.

“It could help pay for flying down to long distance games which we did three or four times last season.

“There is no right or wrong way to do a pre-season but what we are doing is right for us.”

Today’s game with Hearts at Deepdale – the only home friendly – is followed by a visit to Southport on Tuesday night, with the players then heading north three days later.

On the way back from their short stay in Scotland, they play Carlisle on July 28.

A PNE XI go to Ashington the night after, with the friendly programme finishing against Bury at Gigg Lane on August 1.

The list of friendlies was one which was put together at relatively short notice because of Preston’s involvement in the play-offs which extended last season by three weeks.

“It is difficult when you are organising games as late into the close season as we had to do,” said Grayson.

“We were going to play Liverpool again but they have gone away a little bit earlier than normal on their tour.

“I think the Hearts game, England versus Scotland, is just the right sort of test.

“The work we are doing in pre-season and the way we have organised it, is very similar to what we did last year.

“Between myself, the fitness department and the medical department, we looked at what we did last year and thought it was a successful way of going about things.

“There are little things which we have tweaked but it is mainly the same.

“The game plan when you start back for pre-season is to get everyone as fit as possible and have everyone fit for the first match of the season.

“It is a mixed bag of hard work, getting game time and letting them rest as well.”