Another twist in Declan Rudd story as manager Grayson exits Deepdale
PUBLISHED: 14:55 30 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:15 30 June 2017
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Declan Rudd may well be wondering what the football gods have in store for him as he faces the prospect of another upheaval.
The former Norwich City keeper has just ended an 18-year association with the Canaries by joining Championship rivals Preston North End.
Rudd, 26, had high hopes of finally holding down the number one spot at Carrow Road when the club took up the option of another year on his contract – and severed ties with John Ruddy.
However, his days were numbered when Angus Gunn was brought in on a season-long loan from Manchester City and a return to a club where he spent time on loan – and for whom he has made more appearances than he ever did for Norwich – was no great surprise.
But there was another twist in the story when, late on Thursday, the man who signed him, Simon Grayson, left Preston and signed a three-year deal to manage relegated Sunderland.
Who comes in may have a big bearing on what happens to Rudd - as will Grayson’s plans at the Stadium of Light, where highly-rated keeper Jordan Pickford will no longer be a fixture, having moved to Everton
Grayson’s replacement could even be a familiar face – with Alan Irvine, who saw out the season as interim manager following the sacking of Alex Neil, in the running for a return to Deepdale.
Irvine opted not to take up a new role in City boss Daniel Farke’s set-up at City, saying a return to front-line management appealed.
Neil himself is also in the running with some bookmakers – SkyBet have him at 16-1 – although the favoured few are Uwe Rosler, Graham Alexander, Paolo Di Canio and Steven Gerrard. Irvine is a 33-1 shot.
For now, Rudd will no doubt be happy just to concentrate on football and a return to Premier League action, having sampled it in City colours.
“To get a run of games in the Premier League was really good,” he told the Lancashire Evening Post.
“I played 11 games and I just wish that had gone on for a bit longer than it did.
“Unfortunately my run in the team came to an end a bit sooner than I wanted, but I enjoyed it and they certainly gave me the taste for more.”