Preston North End boss Frankie McAvoy delighted with pre-season programme

Frankie McAvoy says Preston North End’s pre-season programme will give his players a strong base for the campaign ahead.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 8:00 am

The Lilywhites have five pre-season friendlies in place with room in the schedule for another.

It is the two in Scotland which not surprisingly catch McAvoy’s eye, with visits to St Johnstone and Celtic

PNE head coach McAvoy is good pals with Saints manager Callum Davidson, the pair knowing one another from coaching courses.

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Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy
Preston North End head coach Frankie McAvoy

Celtic hold a big place in his heart, McAvoy’s dad having worked for the Glasgow club.

McAvoy told the Lancashire Post: “The guys behind the scenes here have put a great schedule together for us in pre-season.

“We start off at Bamber Bridge and then head up to Scotland to play St Johnstone and Celtic.

“St Johnstone have just won both cups in Scotland which is a magnificent achievement.

“To win one cup and stop the Old Firm is good but to manage to win both is superb.

“I know Callum Davidson really well, we did our Pro Licence together and he’s a lovely lad.

“When St Johnstone won the two cups I told him to enjoy it because moments like that don’t come round too often in football.

“Playing Celtic will be a big game for me, my dad worked there for many years.

“I’ve a lot of good friends there and I’m looking forward to taking Preston to play them.

“Celtic will be a big test, they will be back preparing to play in Europe.

“It is a chance for our lads to play in a stadium which holds 60,000 and they will be hungry to do that.”

North End will be based in the St Andrews area during their stay north of the border, providing an opportunity for the squad to bond.

“We are using the university facilities to train and we’re staying in a nice hotel,” said McAvoy.

“With the Covid situation it is difficult to go anywhere beyond the British Isles.

“We’ve got plenty of hard work to do that week in a beautiful part of the world.”

On their return from Scotland, PNE have games against Bolton at Leyland’s County Ground (July 20) and at Wigan on July 30.

McAvoy has combined work and pleasure since the season came to an end. He has had the time to catch up with family, while having his input into the recruitment.

Said McAvoy: “There is a lot of work going on and it’s just a case of falling into place.

“As you know we want to bring back Sepp van den Berg, Liam Lindsay and Daniel Iversen, who were here on loan. Things take time to get across the line.”