Tom Barkhuizen’s waiting game over his Preston North End future

Tom Barkhuizen says Preston face an ‘interesting’ summer as they rebuild off the pitch after a tough season on it.

Saturday, 24th April 2021, 8:00 am

The versatile Barkuizen is one of a dozen players who will soon be going into the final year of their contracts.

Sorting out new deals with some of that group will be done alongside recruitment.

In terms of his future, Barkhuizen says he has a ‘pretty good idea’ of how he wants things to turn out and will wait for PNE’s move.

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Tom Barkhuizen taking on former PNE man Ben Pearson during the game against Bournemouth

Barkhuizen told the Lancashire Post: “It will be interesting to see what happens.

“I don’t know exactly how many of us are out of contract next year.

“We’ve had a big turnaround in the last few months and it will be interesting to see which way the club go.

“I think there are only six or seven players here from when I first signed and you always want that sense of stability.

“It’s not really up to me what happens next. I’ve got a pretty good idea about what I want to do.

“Performances enhance your case and we will see what happens.”

Barkhuizen joined PNE from Morecambe in January 2017 and he has made 192 appearances, scoring 38 goals.

Those are statistics the Lancashire-born player is proud of.

“I can’t believe I signed when I was 23 and I’m 28 in the summer,” said Barkhuizen.

“I’m one of the longest-serving players in the dressing room and I read the other day I was close to 200 appearances so I’m not doing badly to play that many games in quite a short space of time.

“It has given me good experience and it will be interesting to see if that continues or not. That’s not necessarily in my hands.”

Barkhuizen, like the PNE fans and other players, will be keen to see who PNE appoint as manager in the summer.

He has been impressed with Frankie McAvoy as interim head coach but at the same time was sad to see Alex Neil exit Deepdale in March.

Barkhuizen said: “I’ve known Frankie for a long time and he’d been positive, which is very good.

“We had got stuck in a negative cycle and that’s not having a dig at Alex because I loved working with him.

“I just think with the way results had been going, it was difficult to be positive.

“Things were feeling a bit stale, everyone was trying too hard. Frankie has come in with a blank piece of paper and tried to be positive.

“As a player you want to be playing with a smile on your face. I know we haven’t won every game but we are near enough safe with three games left.

“After the Luton game we were pretty fearful about what was coming.”