Youngsters sign PNE deals

PNE goalkeeper Matt Hudson
PNE goalkeeper Matt Hudson
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Preston North End have handed professional contracts to academy pair Matt Hudson and Clive Smith

The pair are both second-year scholars at Deepdale and have featured in the first-team squad this season.

Clive Smith has signed a pro deal at PNE

Clive Smith has signed a pro deal at PNE

They’ve signed 18-month deals with the option for another year.

Goalkeeper Hudson made his debut last month in the Championship game against Leeds at Elland Road, coming on as a substitute in the first half after Jordan Pickford had been sent-off.

Smith, who operates at right-back, was on the bench for the matches against Bournemouth and Cardiff earlier in the campaign.

North End manager Simon Grayson said: “Clive has been with us since the summer and was around the pre-season games.

“He has been on the bench a few times and he has got a future.

“Clive is a good kid – willing to learn, has good energy and we are delighted to give him his first contract.

“Matt is another who had deserved a contract.

“He has also been on the bench, came on for his debut against Leeds and performed admirably. He has a bright future in the game.

“We are delighted they have committed their futures to the club and it shows there is a pathway available for the younger players.”

North End have also activated a 12-month extension to the contract of Ben Davies.

The young defender was loaned to Newport County last week to get first-team experience.

His current contract was due to run out at the end of the season but he is now contracted until June 2017.