Preston North End cut their fringe having freed 13 players - analysis of the Deepdale retained list

Preston North End’s retained list grabbed the headlines because of the numbers involved, 13 players freed and three more transfer-listed.

By Dave Seddon
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 12:30 pm

However, there were few shock calls made, indeed if any, as room was created in the squad and on the wage bill ahead of summer recruitment for the 2022/23 campaign.

The Lilywhites have in effect cut their fringe, released those who had been in and around the first-team squad but for one reason or another haven’t had the game time or opportunity to feature.

Of the 13 being let go, nine didn’t kick a ball in the Championship in the season just finished.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Joe Rodwell-Grant has been released by Preston North End

The four who did play made 18 starts between them and 25 substitute appearances. Tom Barkhuizen made 10 of those starts, Scott Sinclair six and Joe Rafferty two.

Joe Rodwell-Grant came off the bench in the league game against Swansea last August, with Paul Huntington making his farewell from the bench in last Saturday’s 4-1 win over Middlesbrough.

Huntington ends a 10-year stay with North End, Barkhuizen was here since November 2016 after signing from Morecambe.

Joe Rafferty tracks Liverpool's Takumi Minamino in the Carabao Cup tie at Deepdale

Full-back Rafferty and goalkeeper Ripley joined in three-and-a-half years ago, Mathew Hudson, Ethan Walker, Rodwell-Grant and Jack Baxter have a long association having come through the academy.

A couple of the younger lads could count themselves slightly unfortunate, Rodwell-Grant springs to mind having been among the goals in the reserves and Under-19s in a season when he also had loan spells at Bamber Bridge and Lancaster.

The striker will be too old to play for the Under-19s in the campaign ahead so that limited potential game time to the Central League or more time away from loan.

Rodwell-Grant, 19, who also got a Carabao Cup appearance against Mansfield to his name earlier in the season, played as a trialist for Wigan’s Under-23s last week as he begins his search for a new club.

Of the three transfer-listed players, Tom Bayliss spent all of the season on loan at Wigan, with Josh Harrop loaned to Fleetwood in January having played for PNE once in 2021/22 – as a sub in the FA Cup tie at Cardiff.

Matthew Olosunde managed just one start and one sub appearance after last summer’s Bosman move from Rotherham, with him left out of the 25-man squad from the start of February.