Preston North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd happy to focus on football while contract talks continue
Preston North End goalkeeper Declan Rudd is open to the idea of extending his long stay at Deepdale.
The 29-year-old is in the final six months of his current contract with the Lilywhites.
Rudd says the process of agreeing fresh terms is an ‘ongoing process’ and while that continues behind the scenes he wants to focus fully on PNE’s efforts to stay in the promotion hunt.
He recently made his 150th appearance in the North End keeper’s jersey, having first joined the club on loan from Norwich seven years ago.
“I enjoy being here, I enjoy the football here,” said Rudd.
“There are a great set of lads here, it’s great to be around.
“It is something which is ongoing at the moment, it’s personal thing and the main thing is the team.
“I’m not really thinking about my personal situation – it will get sorted regardless of what happens.
“The main thing is concentrating on the team and trying to push on towards the play-offs.”
Rudd has been North End’s first-choice keeper now for the best part of two years.
When he returned to PNE in June 2017 in a permanent move from Norwich, Rudd got injured early in pre-season.
It was only in January 2018 that he forced his way into the side and in the main he has stayed there since.
Last season, Rudd had an eight-game spell out of the team when Chris Maxwell got the gloves.
But he regained his placed and played right the way through until the final two games of the campaign, when Connor Ripley was given his chance.
Rudd first came to North End in January 2013, one of the last signings of Graham Westley’s reign.
He spent the remainder of that season on loan and then all of the 2013/14 campaign.
PNE then went back in for his services two-and-a-half years ago, bringing him on a full-time basis to Lancashire.
Recently he was linked with interest from West Ham but the Hammers have now signed Darren Randolph from Middlesbrough.
Before Christmas, Rangers were reported to be eyeing him but nothing came of that.
Said Rudd: “By the end of the season I will have had four-and-a-half years here when you put the two spells together.
“I’ve played more than 150 games for the club which I think is a great thing to do.
“It was Preston who got me on loan and gave me my first opportunity to be a first-team goalkeeper.
“I was 22 when I first came here, I’m now 29 – I’ve got a few more wrinkles now!
“The club has come a long way and now it is about us getting to that next level, try to get to the promised land.”