To think, we here at Balls Towers weren’t even sure there were enough thunderbastard-esque strikes by Irish players in 2013/14 to warrant a list. It’s a good thing we checked, because there were. Most of them were scored by Andy Reid but there’s some notable other contenders for strike of the season from an Irish boot.
Which one is your favourite?
The only centre back with an effort deemed good enough to make our list, John Egan’s 35-yard screamer for Southend United against Scunthorpe back in March could very well be the best of the bunch. This is probably the most ‘It just sat up for me and I hit it’ goal you’ll ever see. Hit it he did and boy, the on-loan Sunderland defender hit it good.
Never the fastest full back in the world (he made David Beckham look like Usain Bolt back in Leeds heyday), Ian Harte’s ability to strike a ball has never been in question. Even at the age of 36, Championship side Bournemouth like Reading before them realise the weapon that Harte remains. This curling effort against Birmingham is testament to that.
We won’t restrict ourselves to goals from the British Isles, oh no. In Australia’s A League, the former Republic of Ireland midfielder finished off this sumptuous move involving 20 plus passes. Admittedly, the finish is fairly straightforward but if Barcelona had scored that we’d be talking about for years. That’s a thing people say.
There’s a bit of a buzz about Jack Grealish at the moment. And such is the way with highly rated skilful attackers with dual-nationality, there’s a bit of allegiance wrangle over the Aston Villa youngster. He’s an Ireland Under 21 cap but England have made contact. He made his Aston Villa debut against Man City last week but not before he scored this stunning solo goal for Notts County during a loan spell at Meadow Lane.
It was odd last summer when West Brom appeared to be willing to let Long to go Hull and his ultimate move to Humberside was even stranger considering his good form in the first half of the season. This goal, one of a brace against Aston Villa, was the highlight. Sumblime touch. Check. Good footwork. Check. Unerring finish. Check.
A forgotten man from the Giovanni Trapatton era, Keogh hasn’t exactly had a stellar season at club level. Out of form and out of favour for struggling Millwall, Keogh was shipped out on loan to an even worse Blackpool side. At the very least, his three goals there contributed to their Championship safety. The pick of the bunch was this volley vs Birmingham. The striker watched the ball come over his shoulder before expertly firing in first time. A beaut.
A goal made and scored north of the border now. Niall McGinn’s talent has been fairly obvious since he broke onto the scene at Derry City and then Celtic as a youngster. Last year he proved himself as a consistent goalscorer and this term, he proved he could score a peach or two. Here the Aberdeen winger ran half the pitch, surveyed his land and launched an unstoppable strike into the top corner. Woof.
Plenty to choose from here in Seamie’s burgeoning collection of classy goals from right back. This one against Southampton says all you need to know about what Coleman brings in an attacking sense. Taking a spin down Everton’s right, the Sligo native decides there’s no pass on, deciding to cut in and drive into the Southampton box. Cue defenders left in his wake and a bullet past poor Kelvin Davis.
Doubling our ‘Golazo’ input from the continent, Cillian Sheridan’s scored the seventh of APOEL’s eight goals in a 8-1 hammering of Anorthosis on the way to a possible title triumph (to be determined this weekend). What makes this sweet is that despite the ball being slightly behind him, Sheridan sumptuously wraps his left foot around the ball and hits it so, so true into the net. An emphatic finish which he was evidently really happy about. (3.40)
Finally, to Andy Reid. Ah, the unenviable task of choosing just one goal from the veritable smorgasbord available. The solution? Let the people decide. So here’s all 11 of Reid strikes in the season just past for your delectation. Which is the best? His free kick at Charlton, surely intentional? You’ll be hard pressed to find a truer strike than his at Doncaster. Does the goal against Blackburn at the City Ground tickle your fancy? It should. Sit back and enjoy three and half minutes of slightly overweight bliss.