Barkhuizen hopes Shrimps pull clear of off-field problems

Tom Barkhuizen. Picture: Matt Rushton

Tom Barkhuizen. Picture: Matt Rushton

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Tom Barkhuizen hopes Morecambe pull themselves clear of their off-the-field troubles.

With new owner Diego Lemos absent for the last two months, The Shrimps have been plunged into financial peril.

Players, staff and fans have rallied round however, a supporters’ trust being formed while those on the terraces also clubbed together to pay Jim Bentley’s recent £1,000 fine from the FA for being sent to the stands against Cheltenham.

Barkhuizen swapped the Globe Arena for Preston North End in November just as the cashflow issues were becoming apparent on Westgate.

The move became official at the start of the month with the winger an unused substitute against Burton on January 2 before making his debut as a late replacement against Brighton on Saturday.

“I haven’t forgotten about my former club Morecambe,” he said.

“I have got some good mates there, while the manager Jim Bentley sent me a text when he heard I had been in the squad at Burton.

“Jim was someone I always got on with very well.

“There have been no hard feelings about me coming here because of the circumstances.

“Morecambe have won a couple of games recently and hopefully they can push on and stay up.

“There is a great spirit at the club – the bond between the manager and supporters was seen when they had the whip-round to pay Jim’s fine from the FA.

“You could see how much he appreciated that – there was a tear in his eye when the money was handed over.

“The fans love him and what they did in paying the fine for him was brilliant.

“Recently, Morecambe have been going down a dark road in what has been happened off the pitch but hopefully things will get a lot better for them soon.

“Hopefully they will pull themselves out of their current struggles.”

New boss Simon Grayson has been impressed with what he’s seen from the 23-year-old during his short time at Deepdale.

“What he does is he’ll do the side of the game where he’s up and down,” said the North End manager.

“But he can carry the ball as well.

“He glides with it, that’s what we’ve been really impressed with.

“He can play on the left side or the right side or down the middle.

“He’s a young lad wanting to make an impression on this team and he’s done that, hence why we put him on because of what he’s been doing in training and what I think the future holds for him.”