PNE in Numbers: How Paul Huntington has laid the foundations

Plenty of people have described Paul Huntington as Preston North End’s unsung hero this season.

Get all your latest Lancashire Post sports news by following @LP_Sport on Twitter

Paul Huntington and Sean Maguire have both enjoyed fine seasons for PNE

Paul Huntington and Sean Maguire have both enjoyed fine seasons for PNE

He may not have picked up any awards when the end of season prizes were handed out, something that admittedly is pretty difficult when Alan Browne cleans up.

But the towering defender, affectionately dubbed the Cumbrian Cannavaro by PNE’s fans, has spent the most minutes on the pitch this season of anyone.

It’s 4,095 to be exact across 46 appearances for Alex Neil’s men in league and cup.

He scored one goal, a fine finish in the 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest just before Christmas.

It’s at the other end of the field though that Huntington has shone and for large parts of the season found an excellent partner in young player of the year Ben Davies.

According to Twitter site @EFLStats Huntington led the way for North End in the season just gone in clearances, 300, interceptions, 76, and was the joint-leader when it came to blocks as both he and Davies made 22.

It’s clear to see why he’s such a popular figure on the terraces and with his team mates. Huntington certainly does the dirty work.

The second person in terms of minutes played comes at the other end of the field, Tom Barkhuizen having featured in every one of PNE’s Championship games this season.
His 43 starts and three substitute appearances mean he spent 3,735 minutes on the pitch.

It led to eight goals and seven assists, the latter the joint most with Callum Robinson.

Unsurprisingly Barkhuizen also had the most dribbles - 114.

The flying winger’s four goals in seven games around the turn of the year looked like giving him the platform to top that particular chart come the end of season.

But Sean Maguire’s blistering return from injury, which saw him notch five in four, ultimately helped him join the departed Jordan Hugill on 10 goals.

It’s worth noting though that all the Irishman’s goals came in the league while Hugill scored two in the League Cup defeat at Accrington back in August.

Second was that man Browne with nine.

It’s a stunning stat really considering the fact the 23-year-old didn’t score at all last season and his total for 2017-18 betters his tally for all his other campaigns with PNE combined.

The best thing? Speaking to him after scooping his hat-trick of gongs, he thinks there is plenty more to come.