Wembley may be Davies’ PNE swansong

Kevin Davies has yet to be offered a new deal by Preston
Kevin Davies has yet to be offered a new deal by Preston
Have your say

The League One play-off final victory over Swindon Town may well be Kevin Davies’ last act in a Preston North End shirt.

The veteran striker came on as a second-half substitute for hat-trick hero Jermaine Beckford at Wembley as North End sealed promotion back to the Championship.

But as the PNE squad prepare for the first day of 
pre-season training on Thursday, Davies’ future has still to be resolved.

The 38-year-old’s contract runs out today and no new deal has been offered to him.

It is understood PNE boss Simon Grayson has held discussions with him about a possible player-coach role, but no formal agreement has so far been reached.

Whether Davies remains at Deepdale next season is likely to depend on him accepting a lesser role on the pitch.

Although he featured more than 40 times for the Lilywhites last season, many of those appearances came from the substitutes’ bench.

PNE cult hero Joe Garner and former Leeds United star Beckford were – when fit – Grayson’s preferred strikeforce.

Between them they plundered 45 goals last term and the club were quick to tie them down this summer.

Garner signed a new and improved three-year deal, while Beckford turned his loan move into a permanent one from Bolton Wanderers.

They are expected to line up together for the first game of the new season against Middlesbrough at Deepdale on August 8.

Grayson also has ex-Rangers forward Andy Little and young forward Jordan Hugill at his disposal, and has made no secret of his desire to bring in another striker over the summer.

Having spent the majority of his career playing in the Premier League, Davies’ knowledge and experience will no doubt come in handy – on both the pitch and the training ground – next season.

But he has hinted in the past that he still feels he can continue solely as a player for at least another year and may look elsewhere in pursuit of regular first-team football.

Davies was signed by Grayson in the summer of 2013 after being released by Bolton, where he had spent the previous decade and made more than 400 appearances.

The former Southampton and Blackburn Rovers striker has made 90 appearances for North End, scoring six goals.

Meanwhile, Preston’s Lancashire derby clash with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday, April 2, 2016, has been moved to a 12.30pm start.

The kick-off time has been changed on police advice and to ensure that the North End can be allocated as many visiting tickets as possible for the game.

It will be the first time Preston have made the short trip to their neighbours in East Lancashire for a league encounter since January 2001.

On that occasion, North End were beaten 3-2.

It should be noted that this date and time may change again if it is selected to be screened live on television.