Preston North End defender Paul Huntington undecided on coaching future

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Preston North End stalwart Paul Huntington is unsure whether he will take steps down the coaching path when his playing days are over.

The centre-half has seen his long-time team-mate Paul Gallagher undertake some coaching duties of late.

Gallagher has filled the gap created by Frankie McAvoy self-isolating for the last couple of weeks, helping Alex Neil and Steve Thompson with coaching the first-team squad.

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Over the last 12 months or so, Gallagher has worked with the Under-16s at North End’s academy.

Centre-back Paul HuntingtonCentre-back Paul Huntington
Centre-back Paul Huntington

Huntington, 33, has started to work towards his coaching badges but says it is too early to think along the lines of it being a future career.

His focus is still very much on playing, and he is not far away from 300 appearances in a Preston shirt.

With regards to coaching, Huntington said: “A few us did the UEFA ‘B’ licence last year.

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“It got hindered a little bit, was a bit stop-start with one thing or another.

“There were five or six of us doing it, Darnell Fisher was one of them.

“There was Tom Clarke and Calum Woods. Gally used to come along but he had already his ‘B’ licence so was there to take notes.

“It was something I was looking at last year but I’ve come away from it a little bit.

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“It’s quite hard to do during a season when you’re trying to get into the team and playing.

“I can see why a lot of players do their badges in the off season when you have a few weeks off.

“Some lads even go to Wales and Northern Ireland for two or three-week stints to do their badges there.

“I’m not sure whether that will be me down the line but it is something I will look at.”

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Meanwhile, a number of young North End players will have their loan spells with non-league clubs interrupted by the second lockdown.

The FA have been forced to call a halt to matches and training below elite level until December 2 due to Government measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Bamber Bridge have three players on loan from PNE in goalkeeper Mathew Hudson, midfielder Adam O’Reilly and striker Joe Rodwell-Grant.

In the same division, Jacob Holland-Wilkinson is with Lancaster City and doing extremely well there.

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Jack Baxter joined Stalybridge Celtic on a youth loan until January and made his debut on Tuesday.

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