Dan Preston | defence









5ft 11"

player bio

A highly experienced central defender who joined the Pitmen in June 2020 after a year at Bedworth United

A junior at hometown club Birmingham City, Preston was in the same Blues academy as a number of future Hednesford players, surrounded by the likes of Jamie Sheldon, Ashley Sammons and Darren Campion at St. Andrews. Unlike his peers, however, Preston earned a shot at a first-team place at Blues, with Alex McLeish handing the teenager a debut in September 2009 in a Capital One Cup game against Sunderland as a late substitute for Stuart Parnaby

Preston was loaned to League two strugglers Hereford United in February 2010 on a youth loan to continue his development, making four appearances at Edgar Street. He returned there the following season on an extended loan until the end of the 2010-2011 season

Released by Birmingham in the summer of 2011, he joined AFC Telford United, who had just earned promotion to the Blue Square Premier. It was a season of struggle for the Bucks in their first season at step one, with Telford finishing just above the relegation zone

Preston was to be thrust into a more regular starting place in 2012-2013, as Telford endured a nightmare campaign that saw them finish rock bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier table after a long winless run and four different managers

Regrouping in Skrill North and with new manager Liam Watson at the helm, Telford looked to bounce back at the first attempt. The Pitmen were one of a number of clubs to briefly threaten Telford, but the Bucks finally won through by winning the title in May 2014. By this point, Preston had fallen out of favour at the New Bucks Head and spent time out on loan to league rivals Barrow and Evo-Stik Premier League side Stourbridge

Preston was allowed to leave Telford in the summer of 2014, joining Vanarama Conference North neighbours Tamworth on a one year deal after their relegation from step one. A slow start at step two from the Lambs saw them languishing in mid-table for the first half of the season, but alongside the likes of future Hednesford players Tom James, Jon Adams and Phil Trainer, Preston and his team-mates went on a strong run that saw them just miss out on the play-offs under new manager Andy Morrell

After penning a new one-year deal in the summer of 2016, Preston was again at the heart of a Tamworth defence that was again close to a play-off place, but once more narrowly missed out on a top-five spot

Preston made the switch back to former club Telford in the summer of 2016, signing a one year deal under Rob Smith. After being involved in the early season games, he was allowed to join Sutton Coldfield Town on a month's loan - alongside old friend Campion, who was also at Telford - before being loaned out to Evo-Stik Southern Premier League high-flyers Leamington in December 2016

After returning to Telford in early 2017, he joined the Pitmen on a month's loan deal to shore up a leaky Hednesford defence that had conceded ten goals in their last three league games. In Preston's four games, the Pitmen steadied the ship with a win, a draw and two defeats before he returned to Telford in February


After leaving Telford in the summer, Preston returned to Edgar Street to link up with the newest iteration of Hereford Football Club in the Southern Premier League. He only made six appearances for the Bulls before joining Bromsgrove Sporting - initially on dual-registration - and making the move to the Midland Football League side permanent later in the campaign

Bromsgrove ended 2017-2018 as champions and were promoted to the Southern League Division One Central, with Preston signing a new deal with the club for the forthcoming season. He made a return to step three in December 2018 as he was signed by Southern Premier League Central high-flyers Stratford Town

After three months at Stratford, Preston returned to Sutton Coldfield in March 2019 on a short term deal until the end of the season at Coles Lane. Neil Tooth was keen to retain the services of the centre-back for the following season, but Nuneaton Borough brought Preston back to step three once more after he played for them in their pre-season programme

Just after the start of the new campaign, Preston departed Liberty Way and linked up with Southern League Division One side Bedworth United, remaining at the Oval until the season was brought to an abrupt end in March 20202 due to the coronavirus pandemic

In June 2020, new Hednesford manager Andy Morrell elected to bring back his former Tamworth player to Keys Park, signing Preston on a permanent deal ahead of the 2020-2021 season

After spending the first month of the 202-201 season amongst the substitutes for the Pitmen,Preston made a return to Sutton Coldfield on a month's loan in October 2020

* Denotes playing records removed after the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons were voided due to coronavirus pandemic

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