You can never read too much into pre-season friendlies but despite League One side Preston North End beating Premier League side Burnley 2-1 you can certainly read a lot into the talents of Josh Brownhill.
The Preston North End player notched his fifth goal of pre-season in the friendly on Tuesday night and all but guaranteed himself a starting spot for the first game of the season against Notts County a week on Saturday. His form has been superb throughout the past month but his goal in the last minute of Tuesday's game was something extra special.
The free-kick clearly flummoxed new Burnley 'keeper Matt Gilks who was on the end of another late winner at Deepdale having been in the Blackpool side who lost 1-0 to Preston in last season's Capital One Cup thanks to Tom Clarke.
Burnley had taken the lead in the tie with new signing Lukas Jutkiewicz making the most of a defensive mix-up. Alan Browne equalised for PNE before Brownhill settled the tie with his stunner from 35 yards. After the match the 18-year-old said Cristiano Ronaldo and David Luiz had been his inspiration for the free-kick.
“I watch a lot of David Luiz’s free-kicks and [Cristiano] Ronaldo’s” he said.
“It’s a bit of both really, it’s hard to describe how to do it, I just do it and sometimes it pulls off like it did then but it’s great to know I can hit shots like that.”
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Brownhill impressed the North End faithful with his rise into the first-team last season, however he seems to have taken things to the next level based on pre-season and seems a much stronger and confident player. Preston have won five of their six friendlies so far with only Liverpool able to stop them, and even that was a game The Lilywhites should have won.
Can Brownhill lead Preston to glory this season?