DAVID Parkhouse admits he’s enjoying his friendly rivalry with teammate, Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe as they go toe-to-toe for Derry City’s top goalscorer gong this season.
Sheffield United loanee, Parkhouse (19) opened the scoring against the champions, Dundalk at Brandywell last Friday night to take his season’s tally to nine goals before Junior popped up in the 95th minute to head home the equaliser - his eighth of the campaign.
In Turner’s Cross the previous Friday, it was Parkhouse who also got the ball rolling with a close range finish against Cork before Junior, once again, stole the headlines with a memorable hat-trick in the 4-1 win as they both celebrated the extensions of their loan deals.
So the pair are neck-and-neck in the race for City’s top goalscorer accolade at the midway point of the season and having both recently penned contract extensions to keep them on Foyleside until the end of the year, they are clearly relishing the opportunity of regular first team football.
Both players are tied on seven league goals and are poised nicely in second position behind leading scorer, Pat Hoban in the Airtricity Premier Division top goalscorer table with the Dundalk hitman on 12 goals after his 90th minute header at the Brandywell.
And while Parkhouse claims it’s not all about the goals and personal accolades, he’s delighted to be contributing in the goalscoring department.
“It is what it is,” he smiled when asked if he was rivalling Junior for the club’s top scorer award. “I’m delighted for Junior to get goals. There is that competition there but at the end of the day I’m happy with whoever scores during the match,” he added diplomatically.
The Northern Ireland U21 international is his own fiercest critic when it comes to hitting the back of the net but he’s happy with his return at this early stage of the season.
And considering Derry City are the league’s second highest scorers with 36 goals after 23 league matches with new signing, striker, Conor Davis to come into the reckoning, the signs are positive.
“I’m happy with the goals I have at the minute,” he insisted. “Could I have more? Yes! But that’s why I’m here, to get experience for the next game.
“I’m happy with how things have been and obviously scoring tonight was a brilliant feeling. It gives you a boost, kicks you on even more and I couldn’t be more grateful for Decky (Devine) wanting me to stay here. I’ll just keep pushing on, that’s all I can do.”
It was a dramatic finale to Friday night’s match and Parkhouse reckons their late, late goal shows this young City side fear no one.
“There was loads of drama. We don’t make it easy on ourselves but we have that never say die attitude in the team and that’s what gets us by,” he explained. “We have a lot of good players in the team who are willing to work for each other collectively. It’s great we have that attitude. we have no fear in this team and that’s a brilliant attribute to have.”
The draw saw Derry slip to fifth spot behind St Pat’s who have two games in hand over the Candy Stripes, but Parkhouse believes the team are getting better with each passing game.
“We deserved a lot more out of Friday’s game. We don’t give up and we’ve showed that many times. We’re young and will keep learning from each game.”
Newly promoted Premier League outfit, his parent club, Sheffield United will no doubt be keeping close tabs on the youngster as he continue to make a significant impression in the League of Ireland, and Parkhouse is just taking it one game at a time.
“I’m doing my best to prove to them over there that I have what it takes, but that’s credit to Derry for what they’ve done for me and allowed me to do.”