Why Preston North End were able to name Connor Ripley on the bench for the victory over Stoke City

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Goalkeeper Connor Ripley came in from the cold to be named in Preston North End’s matchday squad at Stoke City on Monday afternoon.

It was the 28-year-old’s first time on the bench for a PNE game since the Carabao Cup win at Mansfield in August.

Not being in the 25-man squad registered with the EFL meant that Ripley had not been available for league matches in the first half of the campaign.

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A degree of flexibility in the rules during the current transfer window allowed Ripley to be back-up for Daniel Iversen at the bet365 Stadium.

Preston North End goalkeeper Connor Ripley before the win at StokePreston North End goalkeeper Connor Ripley before the win at Stoke
Preston North End goalkeeper Connor Ripley before the win at Stoke

Between January 1 and February 4, clubs can change their 25-man senior squads on a game-to-game basis.

The changes just have to be registered with the EFL the day before a match.

After February 4, following on from the close of the window, the 25-man squad has to stay the same through to the end of the season.

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North End have chosen to register Ripley in the squad while Declan Rudd recovers from knee surgery.

Preston goalkeeper Mathew Hudson warms-up at StokePreston goalkeeper Mathew Hudson warms-up at Stoke
Preston goalkeeper Mathew Hudson warms-up at Stoke

Rudd has temporarily been taken out of the 25 but can be returned in the coming weeks.

Before Christmas he had surgery for the third time in less than a year on his knee.

At Stoke, Ripley was preferred to Mathew Hudson on the bench.

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Hudson warmed-up with the squad before the game and had been PNE’s substitute keeper after Rudd was sidelined after his second operation in November.

The 25-man squad rule does not apply to the FA Cup and it is that competition which North End turn their attention to next.

They face Cardiff City on Sunday (2pm), a game which has to be played behind closed doors because of restrictions imposed by the Welsh Government to curb the spread of Covid variant omicron.

The third round tie is being shown live on Welsh language channel S4C – which is widely available – and on BBC Wales (via the red button).

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North End will receive a £48,000 broadcast fee but will miss out on a share of gate receipts due to the turnstiles being locked.

The game will provide the chance for more of the PNE squad to be involved.

In the FA Cup, teams can name nine substitutes and use five of them.

North End boss Ryan Lowe had the majority of the squad available to him at Stoke after Covid cases spiked over Christmas.

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