Belfast Telegraph

Peacock-Farrell: I was just doing job


At home: Bailey Peacock-Farrell is put through his paces by Northern Ireland goalkeeping coach Steve Harper
At home: Bailey Peacock-Farrell is put through his paces by Northern Ireland goalkeeping coach Steve Harper

By Steven Beacom

Bailey Peacock-Farrell returned to Leeds United with a spring in his step after his superb injury-time save ensured Northern Ireland started their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign in style.

Leading 2-1, and with opponents Belarus throwing caution to the wind, the 22-year-old brilliantly denied Pavel Nekhaychik in the final meaningful moment of Sunday's match.

It was a crucial stop, as was keeping out Henri Anier in the 2-0 victory over Estonia a few days earlier at Windsor Park. Northern Ireland were 1-0 up at the time when Peacock-Farrell won his one-on-one duel.

"I was doing my job. I said after the Estonia game that I want to be able to contribute to the team and it was the same for the Belarus match. I want to be there for the team when I'm needed," said Peacock-Farrell, who made his competitive debut in the Nations League when Northern Ireland lost all four of their games against Austria and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"In the Nations League we didn't put our chances away but we have been more clinical this time and that has helped us with our aim of getting two wins. The results will give us confidence going forward."

Peacock-Farrell is set to start for Leeds on Saturday at home to Millwall having been on the bench since January following the arrival of Kiko Casilla, who is suspended for the weekend.

Prior to boss Marcelo Bielsa dropping him he had been a key figure in the Yorkshire outfit's promotion bid from the Championship.

"It has been difficult and character building. You have to try and take the positives out of it. It was an opportunity for me to work on a few things, get in the gym and build on things that way as well," he said.

Five things you should know about goalkeeper Bailey Peacock Farrell

  • The young Leeds goalkeeper qualifies for Northern Ireland through his Enniskillen granddad Jim Farrell. Born in Darlington, he turned down overtures from England and the Republic of Ireland and is now Michael O'Neill's No.1.
  • Peacock-Farrell began his career with Middlesbrough but after they released him he joined Leeds. In 2016, at the age of 19, he made his first-team debut for the Elland Road side in a 1-1 Championship draw with QPR.
  • Former Windsor Park hero Maik Taylor was key to Peacock-Farrell choosing Northern Ireland. Taylor, in his role as the country's goalkeeping coach, watched Peacock-Farrell when he was on loan at York and his support at that time meant a lot to the youngster.
  • Peacock-Farrell made his Northern Ireland senior debut in last year's Central America tour, coming off the bench at half-time to play in a 0-0 friendly draw with Panama.
  • Intelligent and articulate, Peacock-Farrell was an avid reader growing up and still is. Earlier this year he attended a school in Leeds on World Book Day to encourage the children to read and learn as much as they can.

Belfast Telegraph


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