Preston North End's early report for pre-season and how the campaign is being fitted in with the World Cup

Preston North End’s pre-season programme will begin slightly earlier than usual ahead of a campaign which will pause for the World Cup in the winter.

By Dave Seddon
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 6:00 am

Ryan Lowe’s squad are due back au Euxton for training on June 27, with the season kicking-off on the weekend of July 30/31 – the first July start to a campaign.

In November and December there will be a four-week gap in the Championship’s fixture list during the build-up to the World Cup and the playing of the group stages.

Clubs will play on November 12 before the World Cup call-up period starts two days later. Action will be resumed on December 10.

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North End director Peter Ridsdale is not overly-keen on the disrupted schedule but says it is something all clubs in the Championship and Premier League will have to run with.

Ridsdale told the Lancashire Post: “The lads here will come back around June 27. It’s a bit earlier than in previous years but they still get more holidays than most of us.

"We kick-off the season on July 30 and then we’ve got this disruption in November and December because of the World Cup.

"It’s not great to have that break because however well you are doing, having a month off then is going to be disrupted.

"But it is what it is and we have to get on with it.

"The season only starts a week earlier than normal so there will be more midweek games to fit games in which itself is a challenge.”

North End’s squad will still have had a seven-week break ahead of reporting back, although international duty does potentially beckon for some of them next month.

Ali McCann has already had a four-day training camp with the Northern Ireland squad and will be on duty for four Nations Cup fixtures.

PNE skipper Alan Browne is set to be in the Republic of Ireland squad, while there could be a call-up for Daniel Johnson to the Jamaica squad.

Goalkeeper Daniel Iversen, who has just ended a season-and-a-half on loan with the Lilywhites from Leicester City, has been named in the Denmark squad for their Nations Cup commitments.