Peacock-Farrell wants to resurrect his club career

Bailey Peacock-Farrell in action for Aarhus with whom he is spending a season on loan

Bailey Peacock-Farrell is keen to play more often at club level to complement his regular appearances for Northern Ireland at international level.

The 26-year-old Burnley goalkeeper, who won his 41st cap in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to Kazakhstan, is on a season-long loan to Danish club AGF Aarhus.

“The standard of the club hasn’t been amazing and there have been some inconsistencies in terms of playing time,” Peacock-Farrell said.

“I’m just trying to rectify the level of the club now, that’s the goal this year.”

Installed as manager Michael O’Neill’s number one choice at the start of the 2018 Nations League campaign, Peacock-Farrell has had his place ever since.

He has played as many matches for Northern Ireland as any of the five professional clubs in his career, with the exception of Sheffield Wednesday, for whom he played 47 times during a loan spell in 2021 -2022.

During frustrating spells at Leeds and Burnley, Northern Ireland was the constant in his career.

“When I go, like everyone else, I try to do my best and overall I’ve done pretty well so far,” he explained.

“It’s obviously a great vote of confidence for the current manager (Michael O’Neill) and the manager before that (Ian Baraclough) to stay by my side.”

Peacock-Farrell has been a regular at the post since his debut in 2018

Peacock-Farrell regularly proved himself as a goalkeeper for Northern Ireland when there were no opportunities for him at club level.

“It’s 10 games a year (with Northern Ireland). So if you only get 10-15 games at club level in cups etc, you add those 10 together and as a season you still have an acceptable number,” he added.

“And it’s another opportunity to perform for your country.”

After losing his starting place at Leeds to former Real Madrid stopper Kiko Casilla in January 2019, Peacock-Farrell moved to Burnley but was never able to secure the number one position at Turf Moor.

Following his season at Hillsborough, he served as Aro Muric’s reserve last season, making 16 appearances as Burnley promoted to the Premier League.

But Vincent Kompany spent £20 million to sign James Trafford this summer and Peacock-Farrell knew he had to look elsewhere.
He had options in the league, but the challenge, both personal and professional, of moving to Denmark’s second city had greater appeal.

For a player who grew up in the north-east of England, a bit of Scandinavian cold is no big deal, and Peacock-Farrell has quickly settled in.

“It’s really beautiful, a beautiful country, a great city,” he said. “It looks very natural and there were no problems setting up.”

This season O’Neill will be racking up the air miles, keeping tabs not only on Peacock-Farrell but also Isaac Price at Standard Liege and Craig Cathcart at Kortrijk, but relatively few British players are heading abroad yet.

“I don’t know why,” Peacock-Farrell said. “Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but maybe it’s because the Premier League is here and everyone wants to come.”

“I had several opportunities in England and this one really stood out because it offered a different style of football.”

“European football is so different to the Premier League, the Championship and League One, so it was another learning experience and hopefully it will be a good experience at the end of the season.”

For a player who is still young as a goalkeeper, his 50th cap is almost in sight and he is aiming for a full century.

“I recently celebrated my 40th birthday and I’m really proud to say it,” he added. Now I’m aiming for the next milestone, which is 50.”

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