Greg Cunningham looks forward to bright future at Preston North End after signing new deal
Greg Cunningham feels he is back ‘home’ after agreeing a contract extension with Preston North End.
The left-sided defender yesterday signed a two-year deal which keeps him at Deepdale until the summer of 2023.
It is the third time he has put pen to paper with North End in some form or another since coming back to Deepdale in January.
Cunningham, 30, initially signed on loan from Cardiff in the winter transfer window.
When PNE ended up with seven loan players at the end of the window – only five can be named in a squad on matchdays – that loan was turned into a permanent signing until the end of this season.
That short-term deal has now been replaced by the new contract which was finalised yesterday. It was not a difficult deal to do, Cunningham having jumped at the chance of returning in January and the Lilywhites keen to negotiate a longer stay for him.
Cunningham provides an option anywhere down the left-hand side of the defence, having played at left-back and left wing-back of late.
Club advisor Peter Ridsdale told the Lancashire Post: “Greg is a great player to have around, he’s popular in the dressing room and an experienced defender.
“We wanted him back, he wanted to be here so it was quite straightforward.
“In 2018 we didn’t want Greg to leave but he got offered a chance of Premier League football at Cardiff which was hard to stand in the way of.”
Cunningham is the second player to have signed a contract extension in recent weeks, following on from Ched Evans.
The striker had been in a similar boat to Cunningham, joining North End on loan in January from Fleetwood. Then he turned his move into a full-time one because of the number of loanees.
Cunningham told PNE’s official website: “This was the aim from the moment I came back in January.
“I needed to get out on loan and get games and when there was an opportunity to come back here, I grabbed it.
“From minute one I felt right at home, I settled in quickly and have enjoyed every minute of it.
“It is great that things have turned around results-wise.”
Cunningham enjoyed a three-year stay with Preston between 2015 and 2018, making more than 100 appearances.
He was player of the year in the 2015/16 season.
In June 2108 a £4m move took him to Cardiff but the switch to South Wales did not work as he would have liked.
At the start of last season Cunningham went on loan to Blackburn, a spell which was curtailed by a knee injury.