New keeper wants PNE in Premier League

Declan Rudd at Deepdale yesterday after signing for Preston (photo: PNE)
Declan Rudd at Deepdale yesterday after signing for Preston (photo: PNE)
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Declan Rudd is looking to get another taste of the Premier League after making a return to Preston.

The goalkeeper is back at Deepdale as a full signed-up PNE player, three years after a lengthy loan spell ended.

Rudd experienced the top flight in the meantime, making 11 appearances for Norwich in the Premier League.

Playing at that level again is something Rudd thinks he can achieve with North End.

He moved to Deepdale for an undisclosed fee from the Canaries yesterday, signing a three-year contract.

Rudd told the Post: “I was really fortunate to play in the Premier League for Norwich after I was at Preston on loan.

“I got 11 straight starts two seasons ago and you can’t buy experience like that, it helped me as a player and as a person.

“I could have done with playing more games like that but it didn’t work out that way.

“Every player wants to play at the highest level and I hope that is something I can do with Preston.

“It is a good squad here, a stable club, and the aim is to go as high as possible.”

Rudd first came to North End in January 2013, making 14 appearances.

Norwich allowed him to come back for the whole of the 2013/14 campaign, one in which he started 55 games.

An attempt by PNE to keep him for a third spell in the summer of 2014 was turned down by the East Anglia club.

However, Rudd always felt that a return to Preston would one day be on the cards.

“Probably every summer since I went back, there was interest shown by Preston or a bit of communication,” said Rudd.

“I knew that if things did not quite work out at Norwich, there would be a chance of a return here.

“I’m just happy that they kept up their interest and then made a move.”

Rudd’s feet hardly touched the ground yesterday as he completed the move to PNE shortly after returning from a family holiday in Sardinia.

The 26-year-old said: “I got back from holiday late on Monday night and started my journey here at 6am yesterday.

“Once I got up to Preston I had my medical and then got everything signed.

“Then it was back on the train to Norfolk, a journey which requires a change of train in London.

“So it was a long day but all very worthwhile.

“My wife and daughter will move up here with me in the next few weeks and I can’t wait to get going.

“We are back for training next week and it will be nice to catch up with some familiar faces and the lads who have joined since I was last here.”

North End’s fixture list for 2017/18 will be online at lep.co.uk from 9am today