Tom Barkhuizen is earning a reputation for himself as a derby day destroyer.
The winger started this trend quickly into his Preston career, scoring away at Blackburn Rovers in 2017. In the 2017-18 campaign, Barkhuizen scored away at Bolton Wanderers, and couldn’t stop scoring in local derbies last season.
At home to Wigan Athletic, at home to Blackburn, away at Bolton again – Barkhuizen scored against all three local neighbours last term, and after scoring the winner against Blackburn at Deepdale this season, it was no surprise to see he was at it again on Saturday.
Barkhuizen opened the scoring against Wigan, finishing off a flowing move with a back-post tap-in. The 26-year-old was superb throughout, terrorising Tom Pearce with his blistering pace before picking up an assist, teeing up Daniel Johnson for Preston’s second in a 2-1 win over the Latics.
An international call-up with South Africa may be on the horizon, but for now, Barkhuizen is Preston’s go-to man for local derbies. The man himself though is feeling a little short-changed.
Barkhuizen spoke to Lancs Live after the win over Wigan, and admitted that he was gutted to see Bolton go down last season, because he was losing guaranteed goals from his tally.
Barkhuizen poked fun at Wanderers by joking that he hates seeing teams go down when he always scored against them, but just feels it’s some sort of luck for him that he is so prolific in these North West clashes.
“To be honest I actually forgot it was a derby until I checked my phone last night,” said Barkhuizen. “It’s just one of those things, I was gutted when Bolton went down because you look at them and that’s at least one goal a season gone. Especially when I’m trying to improve my goal tally and teams are getting relegated I hate it.”
“It just seems to be a lucky thing for me, it’s nice and hopefully something I can keep contributing to because you look at our fans today and the whole back wall is full. They’re the type of games that the fans want to come out to and enjoy – thankfully our fans will be going home and they’ll be happy,” he added.