Preston North End keeper welcomes back matchday nerves and explains how he stays calm during the game

Freddie Woodman welcomed back the nerves as he prepared for Preston North End’s first game of the Championship season on Saturday.

By Tom Sandells
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 6:00 am

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The new North End no.1 has had to be patient to make his debut for the club, having been the first man through the door this summer.

He arrived for an undisclosed fee from Newcastle United in June before a five-week wait to step out for the first time.

PNE 'keeper Freddie Woodman claims a cross against Wigan.

It is a big season for the 25-year-old who left the Magpies after eight years, his first permanent move of his senior career.

PNE opened their canpaign with a 0-0 draw at the DW.

Woodman said: “You can play as many friendlies and pre-season games as you want, it’s not the same.

"The night before you're thinking about the game, you wake up and you've got the feeling in your belly - it's nice.

"Football is back, it's what you play football for. It was nice to get back out there, get on the grass and back up and running.”

PNE had to be up for the fight against Wigan as the League One champions proved stiff opposition in a gruelling battle in Greater Manchester.

There were some strong challenges flying in, too strong in the case of Ched Evans who got his marching orders.

For the ‘keeper however, he finds it best to detach himself from all the action to remain calm in the face of it all.

He said: “I try not to get involved in it, I try to stay emotionally out of the way of it. I try to do my job and keep goal the best that I can.

"I felt like I did that, I tried to keep a cool head throughout and I thought the lads did that as well.

"We showed good composure and dealt with the threats that Wigan bring which is balls into the box.

"When you've got defenders in front of you who are willing to put their bodies on the line and make it difficult for the strikers it's nice for the goalies.

"You're going to have more of an easier day. That's what we want, we want goalies to have easier days and if you only have to pull off one or two saves then it helps.”