There are many things lacking in the League of Ireland, but one thing it does not lack is quality goals.
This season has already served up a smorgasbord of strikes with Barry McNamee of Derry City winning Soccer Republic‘s Goal of the Month award for March, beating competition from the likes of Galway United striker Enda Curran and St Patrick’s Athletic’s Greg Bolger.
While McNamee won the award for March, it’s fair to say that Derry have been on the end of some of the best goals scored this year and, if you felt Bolger’s spectacular lob (which has, at the time of writing, amassed over 70,000 views) was not quite good enough, Kealan Dillon’s brilliant volley at the Brandywell will undoubtedly sate even the most critical skeptic. Everything about the goal is sublime. Dillon duly obliged with a powerful volley after Roberto Lopes’ deft control and delicate lay-up. Watch the goal below:
— Bohemian FC (@bfcdublin) April 28, 2015
Bohemians’ Kealan Dillon might not necessarily be a household name, but the goal he scored is still fantastic, and those moments of magic actually occur quite frequently in Ireland. Mention the names Chris Forrester and Patrick McEleney and the mind fills with images of wonderful goals.
Coaches, ex-players, pundits, columnists and supporters often use the word ‘product’ when talking about the League of Ireland and these flashes of brilliance are examples of that product.
Indeed, they are precisely the sort of thing that can be used to promote the game and encourage not only casual football fans, but also potential investors to take an interest in the national league.
The incredible level of hype generated by Stephanie Roche‘s sensational goal for Peamount United against Wexford Youths ultimately led to that goal being nominated for FIFA’s Puskas Award and Roche finished only second to James Rodriguez’s goal for Colombia at the World Cup.
The gaze of the entire football world was on a footballer from Ireland and Roche’s career has taken off somewhat since then, with a spell in France followed by a move to the United States, where she currently plays for Houston Dash.
With the Irish game crying out for increased investment, clubs and league bosses can and should utilise such positives as a unique selling point. Football lovers across the globe deserve to see Kealan Dillon’s goal. It would be a shame to deny them that pleasure.