Sheffield Wednesday: Ex-Owls star Kirkland joins Preston

Chris Kirkland
Chris Kirkland
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Former Sheffield Wednesday Chris Kirkland has today penned a one-year contract at Preston North End.

Kirkland, who turned down a new contract with the Owls last month due to his desire to play regular first-team football, strengthens the Lilywhites' goalkeeping department.

The 34-year-old, who played 91 times in a three-year spell at Hillsborough, said: “It has been a bit of a strange summer. Over the last 18 years I've always known what club I was going to be at during pre-season.

"I turned down an offer at Sheffield Wednesday in the summer. I had a great time there, but I just wanted to try something new and this opportunity came up and I'm delighted to be here.

"I've heard a lot about the club, I've been in the game a long time and I know a lot about Preston North End's history and what a great club it is. I am delighted it has been sorted out."

Ex-England international Kirkland will be competing with Jordan Pickford and Steven James for the number one spot. He also joins Owls defender Marnick Vermijl, who moved to Deepdale on a season long-loan deal last week.

Simon Grayson, the Preston boss, said: “We think Chris[Kirkland] is going to help with our younger goalkeepers in the squad.

"Obviously we've got Alan Kelly who has been instrumental in the success of our previous 'keepers in Sam Johnstone and Declan Rudd, and hopefully Jordan Pickford this year, but Chris will add both competition for places as well as bringing his experience of playing at the highest level.

“We are trying to get the right balance right the way through the squad of young players with youthful exuberance, but also have some lads who have been there and done it and can guide the younger players. The right balance can certainly help a team and we do think that Chris can add quality to the group both on the pitch and off the pitch.”

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