Kiely a quality appointment at PNE says Neil

PNE's new goalkeeper coach Dean Kiely at Birmingham
PNE's new goalkeeper coach Dean Kiely at Birmingham
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Alex Neil says Preston North End’s new goalkeeper coach Dean Kiely will be a quality addition to the backroom staff at Deepdale.

Kiely began work with the Lilywhites at the end of last week and put Chris Maxwell and Mat Hudson through the warm-up ahead of Saturday’s 3-1 win at Birmingham.

Jack Cudworth

Jack Cudworth

The 46-year-old was on Neil’s coaching staff at Norwich City.

He replaces Alan Kelly who left North End last month after being keeper coach for more than four years.

Kiely was one of half-a-dozen coaches interviewed for the role.

Neil said: “I had Dean with me at Norwich but I didn’t know him before he came in there.

“He did a wonderful job for us there and has coached at the top level – he is a good guy to boot.

“Dean knows his stuff, he will help us improve and will make the goalkeepers better.”

Salford-born Kiely made 760 senior appearances for club and country in his career.

The bulk of those came at York, Bury and Charlton, most of his games with the Addicks coming in the Premier League.

He won 11 caps for the Republic of Ireland.

His playing career came to an end after a spell with West Bromwich but he stayed on there to become keeper coach at the Hawthorns.

After leaving the Baggies in March 2015, Kiely moved to Norwich shortly after Neil’s arrival there.

He is the third member of staff to follow Neil from East Anglia, coach Frankie McAvoy and head of recruitment Joe Savage having done so.

Since Kelly’s departure, academy keeper coach Jack Cudworth had filled the void.

Cudworth had worked closely with Kelly for the last couple of years and Neil was quick to praise the job he has done.

“Jack did very well for us,” said Neil.

“He was a coach under Alan Kelly for a long time and he has done a great job in the spell he has here for us.

“We want to keep Jack and will make sure that we keep on improving him as a coach.

“Jack will go back to the academy but we will keep him involved at first-team level too if he can.”

A familiar face for Kiely at North End is Declan Rudd, with him having coached Rudd at Norwich.

The keeper is still to play for PNE at first-team level since joining the club in June.

Rudd damaged a thigh muscle at Bamber Bridge in pre-season and then suffered a reoccurence of the injury in the Lancashire Senior Cup win over Burnley a fortnight ago.