New Preston striker Graham Burke ready for next chapter at Deepdale

New Preston striker Graham Burke is looking forward to starting the '˜next chapter' of his career after signing off his time with Shamrock Rovers by finding the net again.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 18th June 2018, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 6:06 pm
Graham Burke has joined Preston
Graham Burke has joined Preston

Burke scored in Friday night’s 2-0 win at Limerick, that his 13th goal of the League of Ireland season which has been running since February.

The 24-year-old flew off on holiday yesterday, a chance to re-charge the batteries ahead of pre-season training with his new PNE team-mates at the end of June.

Against Limerick, Burke played on the left side of the Shamrock forward line in a 4-2-3-1 system.

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It is that type of role which North End see him playing, either as a wide attacker or in the No.10 position.

Burke can spearhead the attack but PNE have another target to play the No.9 role.

This will be Burke’s second spell playing in England, the Dubliner having started his career with Aston Villa where he was a team-mate of Callum Robinson and Daniel Johnson.

He went on to play for Notts County and Shrewsbury, then headed back to Ireland to join Shamrock in January 2017.

Burke admits going back home helped to put his career back on track.

Speaking on Dublin’s 98FM yesterday, Burke said: “This is a new moment for me, a new chapter.

“Being at Shamrock Rovers was brilliant for me, I enjoyed every moment.

“Everything was brilliant for me in Dublin, going home meant I’m now more mature and better suited for it.

“I’m going back to England now and looking forward to the challenge.

“There are a lot of Irish boys at Preston which should help me settle in.

“I know Sean Maguire from playing against him here and the international set-up.

“There were other lads in the international squad too who I met in the last couple of weeks or so.”

Similarities have been drawn between Burke and Maguire, both having been signed by North End – a year apart – on the back of hitting scoring form in Ireland.

Said Burke: “Sean has been there a season and played in the Championship.

“As far as I’m concerned, it is a case of getting my head down in training and trying to work my way into the team.”

Burke’s impending arrival shows that PNE boss Alex Neil is looking for more options in the attacking line behind the main striker in a 4-2-3-1.

If used in wide areas, he would be competition for Tom Barkhuizen, Robinson, Daryl Horgan and Billy Bodin.

There was a heavy reliance on Barkhuizen last season, to the extent he featured in every league game starting 43 times.

Robinson was used out wide primarily but also had spells in the middle.