Paul Gallagher's move to Stoke City confirmed with Preston North End replacement already in

Stoke City have confirmed Paul Gallagher’s move to the club to as a first team coach, just a day after Preston North End announced his departure.
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Gallagher had spent 11 years as a player and a coach at PNE but had expressed his desire to depart and join Alex Neil’s coaching staff at Stoke City.

The 38-year-old was a player under Neil when he was North End boss and it was his sacking that paved his way into coaching, joining Frankie McAvoy’s staff on an interim basis before taking up the role full time in the summer.

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Ryan Lowe spoke last Saturday about feeling ‘let down’ about Gallagher’s hopes of leaving and the way it came about, but a return to the Potteries has now been secured, 17 years later.

Preston North End first team coach Paul GallagherPreston North End first team coach Paul Gallagher
Preston North End first team coach Paul Gallagher

“The chance to work with Alex again was naturally appealing to me,” Gallagher told the Stoke City website.

“I am fortunate to have experienced his methods first hand and have a complete belief in his philosophy on the game and how he delivers and communicates that to the players, which is something I have benefitted from both as a player and as a coach.

“I know the meticulous nature of the manager’s work, his attention to detail and desire for his teams to play high-tempo, aggressive, front-foot football, which is completely aligned to my beliefs and how I want to coach and improve players every day.

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“I am really thankful for the chance to return to Stoke City and excited by the opportunity we have to build a successful team.”

Gallagher has already been replaced, with Peter Murphy out in Spain with the squad already on with his new role.

Murphy is formerly of Wigan Athletic, having worked as a chief scout before becoming U18 coach and then lead U23 coach, before becoming first team development coach.

His main focus will be on set plays and on the development of the club’s younger players within the first team environment.

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Speaking about the new appointment, PNE boss Ryan Lowe said: “Peter arrives with experience of coaching ever since having to retire early as a player and he’s very well thought of in the game.

“We’ve been looking at bringing somebody in who can bring something new to the party and Peter’s skillset is what we’ve been looking for.

“Having worked with different age groups at Wigan Athletic, he’s helped produce some top young talents and that’s what we want to do here at Preston North End.

“We’ve got a lot of good youngsters in and around the first team who will need some time to develop, and that’s what Peter can offer.

“He will also help with first team sessions of course, with a particular focus on helping us with our set plays.”