Ex-Preston North End legend and Leeds United man looking for next club at 36

Paul Huntington Paul Huntington
Paul Huntington | Paul Harding/Getty Images
Ex-PNE man was let go by Carlisle United this summer after two years there

Former Preston North End defender Paul Huntington has no intention of calling time on his playing career yet.

The Lilywhites legend is a free agent after his release from hometown club, Carlisle United. The Brunton Park side let Huntington go after relegation from League One. He spent two years with the Blues, earning promotion via the play-offs in his first.

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But, the man who scored 18 goals in 306 appearances for Preston is now on the search for his next challenge. Huntington envisages a career in coaching post-playing, but for now firmly believes he can still handle it in the EFL - or even over in Scotland.

“I still feel able,” said Huntington, in an interview with the News and Star. “I don’t feel, in training, like I’m a hindrance. I still feel as though I can play at the level, whether it's in Scotland, in League One, in League Two. Clubs have first and second choices, but maybe I’d be third or fourth and as they go down the list, that’s how it works. But I'm certainly not in a hurry. I've spoken to a few people in football that I've worked with or know, and they've said, ‘Don't rush into the first few things that come up. You’ll know when something's right’.

“As footballers, you’re always thinking about what’s next, but it’s just as important not to panic and try and switch off when I’m on holiday. It was always the plan, coming back (to Carlisle), that I would stay for the three years, and I just ended up short of that. But I still feel, for another year or two, that I can do a job. I look after myself away from the game. I don’t drink, and on my days off I’m just resting, which is the way the game has gone now. You’ve got to look after yourself if you want to prolong things. I’m open to seeing what comes.

“I've had it when I've been out of contract before – you get some very random teams (contacting you). You end up getting on Google Maps, finding out where they are and then what their squad’s like. It’s early days and a few things have come up where it’s been said, ‘Would you be interested?’ But the amount of times I've heard that across my career, you have to weigh up whether anything’s really going to come of them. It would have to be right in a few ways, really – what the opportunity looks like in terms of the club, and location. I've never been one that's travelled two or three hours (to training) like some do. I don’t think it’s the professional thing to do.”

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