Humphrey can’t wait for new PNE adventure

Chris Humphrey has signed a two-year contract with Preston
Chris Humphrey has signed a two-year contract with Preston

Preston North End winger Chris Humphrey is looking forward to his first experience of the Championship after extending his stay at Deepdale.

The Jamaica international has signed a two-year contract, with midfielder John Welsh doing likewise in the wake of PNE’s promotion.

Reaching the second tier of English football was high on Humphrey’s agenda when he first joined North End two years ago from Motherwell.

So the 27-year-old was quick to agree to the new deal offered to him.

Humphrey told the Evening Post: “I’ve always wanted to play in the Championship.

“After Match of the Day, I like watching the highlights from the Football League and seeing the games in the Championship.

“There are some really big clubs in the division – many of them have been in the Premier League.

“Playing against better players in the Championship is going to improve my game.

“I’m really relishing the opportunity and I’m already looking forward to the start of the season.

“The gaffer has kept a lot of the squad together and with a few new signings, I’m sure we can give things a good go.

“Who knows what we can achieve if we can get ourselves on a good run.

“I’ve had two great seasons here and it is good that I have sorted out to stay for longer.

“We just missed out in my first year and then this season was absolutely fantastic.

“Why would I move on when I have the chance to play in the Championship with Preston?

“This is a massive club, the fans and coaching staff have treated me so well since I have been here.

“We had a few discussions about the contract and then I got it signed the other day.”

Humphrey played 56 games in the season just finished, scoring five goals.

Welsh was a vital cog in the works, outstanding in a holding midfield role during the second half of the season.

At the start of the campaign he was out of favour, his first league appearance only coming against Fleetwood at the end of October.

The 31-year-old said on Twitter that his ‘lucky’ beard, which he refused to shave off in the promotion run-in, would be back on show next term.

He tweeted: “Delighted to have signed a new deal at PNE, there was a beard clause in there so it will be back next season!”

Welsh and Humphrey have joined Paul Huntington and Tom Clarke in agreeing new deals, while striker Jermaine Beckford agreed to turn his loan into a permanent stay.

But moving out of Deepdale yesterday was keeper Thorsten Stuckmann.

He turned down Preston’s offer of a two-year contract in favour of regular first-team football at Doncaster Rovers.

The popular German has agreed a two-year deal with Donny and will officially join them on July 1.

Stuckmann played 77 games for PNE, the last of those being February’s FA Cup clash with Manchester United.

Meanwhile, Bury have anounced that North End will visit Gigg Lane for a friendly on Saturday, August 1.