BAILEY PEACOCK-FARRELL has set his sights on becoming Leeds United’s first choice goalkeeper after a “stagnant” two years and an impressive second coming.
Twenty three months after making his Leeds debut, the 21-year-old was handed his second outing for Leeds in Wednesday night’s hosting of Championship leaders Wolves as a continued stream of errors finally cost German custodian Felix Wiedwald his place in the team.
Peacock-Farrell will now face a double dose of competition with experienced goalkeeper Andy Lonergan returning to training today having missed United’s last three games with a stiff neck, limiting head coach Paul Heckingbottom’s options in goal.
Wiedwald, Lonergan and Peacock-Farrell will now all compete for the no 1 jersey over the final 10 games of the season and while reluctant to get carried away, United’s young custodian has his long-term sights set firmly on becoming first choice.
“It would mean everything to me and that’s my plan,” said Peacock-Farrell.
“I would like to be here, I would like to one day be the number one. It’s about not getting carried away so far. It was only my second game but eventually that’s where I would like to be and hopefully I can get there.”
Peacock-Farrell was just 19 when making his Whites debut in the Championship 1-1 draw at home to QPR in April 2016 under former head coach Steve Evans.
But the youngster has since remained behind first Marco Silvestri followed by Rob Green and most recently Wiedwald and then Lonergan in the pecking order.
The keeper – who has already been called up to the Northern Ireland squad – then had a one-month loan spell at York City in Conference North last autumn.
“It’s been a strange one,” said Peacock-Farrell, reflecting on the last two years.
“The two years, they kind of stagnated a little bit and it was one of those as a keeper where you don’t get rotated and you don’t get to come on for 10 minutes. You’ve got to wait your turn and this is sometimes how it is.
“I had a chat with the gaffer and he wanted me to raise my game and really push and try and prove that I can get into this side. Someone giving me a bit of a confidence boost and backing is always nice.
“I got an opportunity on Wednesday and it’s just one of those that you have got to be patient for.”
Having taken that opportunity with both hands, Peacock-Farrell was then set to learn in training at Thorp Arch today whether or not he had done enough to keep his place in the team.
The youngster was beaten three times by Wolves but the Darlington-born shotstopper made several impressive saves in the first half.
“I think there’s always room for improvement in anything that you do,” said Peacock-Farrell, reflecting on his display against Wolves. With regards to Saturday, I’m not sure. I’m ready to go again.
“I enjoyed it on Wednesday but it’s up to the manager. It’s his call. It’s up to the gaffer and it’s his choice whether he felt I did enough or not.
“Obviously I would like to play the rest of the games, Felix would like to play the rest of the games, Lonners will be back and he would like to play the rest of the games. We all want to play but it’s the manager’s call.”