Why Paul Gallagher gets a buzz out of coaching Preston North End’s next generation
Paul Gallagher will continue his coaching work at Preston’s academy after extending his stay at Deepdale.
The 35-year-old midfielder helped out with coaching the Under-16s last season and he will work with that age group in the 2020/21 season.
Last Thursday, Gallagher signed a new one-year contract which will carry him into an eighth campaign with North End since returning in October 2013 – he also had a loan spell in 2007 too.
Getting some coaching experience and being able to pass on his knowledge to the academy players is a part of the game which Gallagher is passionate about.
The age group he coached last season contained some of the players who have been taken on as first-year scholars.
Now Gallagher will help out with the current Under-16s who will hope to make the same step.
Gallagher told the Lancashire Post: “Coaching is something I will be doing again, I really enjoyed it.
“It’s about helping young players understand football and making them aware of the dedication you need.
“Last season I worked with the Under-16s which is the age group below the scholars.
“Some of them have gone into this year’s Under-18s.
“The Under-16s train on a Wednesday night and play on a Sunday. If we’ve got a game I’m obviously not with them but the most of the time I will be.
“When I was a young kid, I wish a first-team player had come to coach me.
“Having someone pass on their experience is such a big thing and can give you a head start.
“Last season one of the lads from that age group, Lewis Leigh, came up to train with the first team when we needed a player.
“He understood where he needed to be on the pitch and what to do. When he came up I was very proud of him.
“He certainly didn’t look out of place.”
On the playing front, it is all systems go for Gallagher in terms of pre-season training.
That started last Thursday, with the squad picking up the pace on Friday and Saturday.
The squad were back in today and their first friendly is at the weekend.
Gallagher said: “I’m still fit, if they put a running session on I’m near the front.
“The game has got a lot quicker, I understand that.
“At my age I know the games I will probably play in and the ones I probably won’t.
“Last season I played in 33 games, scored six goals and provided some assists
“If it got a point where I was getting run over the top of in games, I’d have been the first to hold my hand up.
“That wasn’t the case – I was having an effect on matches and that is what I want to do again this season.”