Frankie McAvoy is excited about resumption of Preston North End's derby rivalry with Blackpool

Frankie McAvoy says Preston North End’s derby clashes with Blackpool will be ones he is looking out for when the Championship fixture list is published next week.

Wednesday, 16th June 2021, 1:18 pm

The Lancashire rivals will renew hostilities this season for the first time since August 2013 when they met in the League Cup.

It was back in the 2009/10 campaign that PNE and the Seasiders were last in the same division.

Those meetings were long before North End head coach McAvoy came to Deepdale.

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Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy

However, he is fully up to speed with what the derby means to the PNE faithful.

McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “A lot of people have spoken about the Preston and Blackpool derby.

“Steve Cowell who used to be kitman here, told me it was the biggest derby in the world!

“I understand how fiercely competitive games can be and I’m looking forward to it.”

The Premier League released their fixture list on Wednesday morning but EFL clubs have to wait until next Thursday (June 24) for their 2021/22 schedule.

Much of the Championship will be familiar foes as far as PNE are concerned as they prepare for their seventh season in a row at this level.

Of the clubs who have been promoted or relegated into the division, Blackpool are the one who North End have not faced for the longest period of time.

League One champions Hull City bounced back at the first time of asking, while PNE last faced Peterborough in the FA Cup in January 2016 and before that in the league in the 2014/15 promotion season.

Coming the other way, Fulham and West Bromwich Albion have dropped down after only one season in the top flight.

Sheffield United spent two seasons in the Premier League.

North End will report back to Euxton for pre-season training on Thursday, July 1.

Their first friendly is the traditional visit to Bamber Bridge on July 10, a fixture which could not be played last season due to the pandemic.

After facing Brig, McAvoy will take the squad to Scotland to spend a week there.

They will be based in St Andrew’s and train at the university there, with friendlies against St Johnstone on Tuesday, July 13 and Celtic on Saturday, July 20.

It will be a first visit to the Saints’ McDiarmid Park for North End, while they have not played at Celtic Park since the 1970s when Bobby Charlton was the Preston manager.

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