After a poll on Twitter, you, the followers of @prestonupdates_ have voted for your worst Preston North End XI of the decade. There were some obvious choices (Anthony Elding) and some actually quite mean ones like Ryan Ledson at left-back. Below is the full XI along with an update on what they’re up to now.
GK: Michael Crowe
Michael Crowe is 24-years-old and has made one professional appearance – a rather disastrous display against Doncaster Rovers in last season’s FA Cup 3rd Round. His inclusion in this side is surprising considering Jamie Jones made 20 appearances for PNE this decade.
Crowe remains under contract at PNE and has been seen on the bench in the Carabao Cup but wasn’t trusted there for the Man City game. His contract is up at the end of the season and its difficult to imagine the goalkeeper staying at Deepdale beyond then.
RB: Liam Grimshaw
Liam Grimshaw was one of two Manchester United players PNE signed in January 2016, but a knee injury meant North End fans didn’t see Grimshaw in action until the following season.
The Burnley-born man was involved in all the games in August 2016 but was only seen twice more before his contract was cancelled in August 2017.
He then re-joined Motherwell, where he enjoyed a loan spell before joining North End, and has made 74 appearances for the Well including the 2017 Scottish League Cup final and 2018 Scottish Cup final in a central midfield role.
Oh, and the other Man Utd player signed in January 2016? Ben Pearson.
CB: Andy Boyle
Andy Boyle was signed from Dundalk in December 2016 after being linked with Everton and captaining his side in the Europa League.
He had to wait until March for his North End bow and the Irishman flattered to deceive. Of his 12 games for North End he was only on the winning side once.
The 28-year-old only left North End this Summer after loan spells at Doncaster Rovers, Dundee and Ross County. He’s now back at Dundalk who won the League of Ireland last month.
CB: Shane Cansdell-Sheriff
Shane Cansdell-Sheriff was one of 18 signings made by Graham Westley in the summer of 2012 and arrived after five years and 168 appearances for Shrewsbury Town in League Two.
However, after just 22 games that included two red cards, the Australian was shipped out on loan to Rochdale. He eventually retired from football in July 2016 after three seasons at Burton.
The 37-year-old is now back in his native Australia managing semi-professional outfit Adamstown Rosebud FC.
LB: Ryan Ledson
Picking a worst left-back of the decade for PNE is difficult. Scott Laird was one of only a handful of good Graham Westley signings. Greg Cunningham took on the no.3 shirt after Laird rejected a new contract after promotion. Cunningham eventually left for the dizzying lights of the Premier League and now Andrew Hughes has the potential to follow him if he recovers from injury.
Kevin O’Connor, who was signed from Cork City alongside Seani Maguire, was a flop and got my vote but we must respect the vote as democracy plays another blinder by choosing Ledson.
Ledson is not a left-back. He should never have played left-back. I put him in the poll as a joke. He looks a competent defensive midfielder with a lot of potential who should come into his own when Ben Pearson eventually leaves.
It shouldn’t be forgotten that Ledson captained the England u-17 side that won the 2014 European u-17 Championship and was named in the team of the tournament. How many Preston players can you say that about?
RM: David Amoo
David Amoo, like Cansdell-Sheriff, was part of Graham Westley’s massive overhaul. But, unlike the rest, he came with Europa League quality after playing for Liverpool in the competition.
Again, like Cansdell-Sheriff, Amoo was out of Deepdale by January after just nine starts, joining Tranmere on loan.
What followed for Amoo is a career as a lower-league journeyman with spells at Carlisle, Partick Thistle, Cambridge United before joining Port Vale this summer.
CM: Alex Marrow
Alex Marrow was another Westley signing joining on loan from Crystal Palace in January 2012. He was just 21 at the time but had already amassed 62 career appearances.
The Englishman played only four times for North End, starting just three of those. He returned to Palace and was loaned out to Fleetwood before re-signing for Blackburn.
The 29-year-old is now plying his trade at Warrington Town in the Northern Premier Division in the seventh tier of the pyramid.
CM: Andrew Procter
Andrew Procter was signed in January 2012, and in another Graham Westley masterstroke was made captain immediately.
He was actually in North End’s Academy until the age of 16 but after spending 10 years at Accrington Stanley and never playing above League Two the decision to build the midfield around him was a strange one.
The Englishman left in July 2013, he then spent a season at Bury and a further two back at Stanley before retiring in 2016. He is now the 1st team physiotherapist at Wigan Athletic.
LM: Lee Trundle
Lee Trundle played 29 competitive minutes for Preston North End, but he’s been voted, by you, as the left-winger in our worst XI of the decade. Make of that what you will.
The signing of Trundle, the man who has probably featured more on SoccerAM’s showboat segment than anybody else, caused a lot of excitement but the North End faithful never even saw a stepover from the Welshman.
He’s now back at former club Swansea City working as an ambassador.
ST: Chris Beardsley
Chris Beardsley was one of four Stevenage players that Graham Westley brought with him when he took over at North End.
Beardsley was definitely a hard worker, even going on a scouting mission for Westley when he was out injured, but he was lacking in quality managing just two goals in 19 league games. League One was not his level.
The Englishman now is a player-physiotherapist at Burton Albion but has only played one minute of competitive football this season in the EFL Trophy.
ST: Anthony Elding
Anthony Elding is probably PNE’s strangest signing of the decade. In November 2012 Westley needed a goal scorer so he turned to a man who had scored two goals in the Conference that season for Grimsby Town.
Elding played five times for North End scoring zero goals, in fact North End only managed two in total in those games. Despite this, Westley was apparently interested in extending the loan and potentially a permanent deal.
This didn’t materialise and Elding moved to Ireland playing for Cork City before moving north of the border turning out for Ballinamallard United, Derry City and Sligo Rovers. More recently, Elding was doing his coaching badges.