Preston North End's Freddie Woodman on crazy clean sheet streak: 'It was a joke'

Preston North End goalkeeper Freddie Woodman gestures with his hand during the Championship match between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End on 18 October, 2022 at the John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield, United Kingdom.
(Image credit: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

The curious case of Preston North End has been one of the most gripping storylines in the EFL this season – and goalkeeper Freddie Woodman has been right at the heart of it.

Halfway through their Championship campaign, the Lancashire side just outside the play-offs in seventh – having scored the second-fewest goals in the division and conceded the joint second-fewest (22 in both cases).

Extraordinarily, North End kept clean sheets in each of their first seven league outings of 2022/23 – while finding the net just twice themselves.  It wasn't until game number nine that both teams scored; it took 13 matches for them to be involved in a contest which saw more than two goals.

And ex-England U21 international Woodman – who joined Preston from Newcastle in the summer, having had previous Championship spells on loan at Swansea and Bournemouth – could barely believe what he was seeing, as he told FourFourTwo in the latest issue available to buy (opens in new tab):

"I've never known anything like the start of this season...Once I'd equalled the three in a row I achieved at Swansea, I was saying, 'It can't happen again, can it?'. 

"But it just kept happening again and again. It became a joke in the dressing room: 'Crikey, we've got another one'."

Woodman recorded 20 shutouts while with Swansea in 2020/21; he's already up to 11 this term.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...