Magnificent Mark

DUNDALK boss Ian Foster heaped praise on Mark Quigley following the striker’s wonder goal against Galway United at Oriel Park on Friday night – and then backed him to break the 20-goal mark this season.

DUNDALK boss Ian Foster heaped praise on Mark Quigley following the striker’s wonder goal against Galway United at Oriel Park on Friday night – and then backed him to break the 20-goal mark this season.

Quigley lit up the Carrick Road venue with a 35-yard free-kick to take his tally to four goals in five games and while many were left raving about the quality of his strike, it came as no surprise to his manager.

“Mark Quigley is an unbelievable talent. It breaks my heart that he is playing League of Ireland football. I genuinely mean that. He does things like that, day in and day out at training and if we can keep him fit he could score 20 plus goals for us this season which would be massive.

“We’d love him and Jason Byrne to chip in with 35 goals”, he added. That would be huge for us. They’re off to a great start. Mark has four in five games and Jason has two in two now.”

Quigley’s spectacular goal was his second in the space of five days following the sensational first time volley which downed Glentoran in the Setanta Cup quarter-final first leg at The Oval in Belfast on Monday night. Speaking afterwards, he was rightfully proud of his effort.

“It’s one of the best goals I’ve scored”, said Quigley. “From the minute it left my foot I knew it was going in. It’s one of them where nine times out of ten it goes over the bar and into row z but thankfully I caught it sweetly and its gone into the top corner. It was a fair distance and at a bit of an angle, I couldn’t have caught it any sweeter.”

After a frustrating season with Bohemians last season, the 23-year-old seems to be revelling playing in his preferred position of a central striker.

“I’m delighted with the goal and the run I’m on. I’m scoring goals. Thats four for the season already. I only got five in the whole of last season. I’m happy where I’m playing now and I feel as though I’ll contribute goals if I’m played up front and its happening at the moment.

“It doesn’t matter who I’m playing against, I just want to score. I’ve a full pre-season under my belt and I can feel the benefits of that. I’m enjoying the team, it’s expressive and we are forward thinking.”

Quigley said he arrived at Oriel Park to prove a point to some people.

“I feel as though I have wasted two seasons of my career”, he said. “After two good years with St Pat’s I had a nightmare season with injury and then I think I had a disappointing season at Bohs. I played a lot on the left wing. At the end of the season I didn’t really mind it as I was getting used to it but I’m a striker and I enjoy playing there with Jason Byrne. He has great experience and his work rate is great. I’m delighted he got a goal tonight.”

The Dundalk number nine should have scored a second, only to hit the post and Galway United goalkeeper Greg Fleming from close range following a mazy run.

“It was too close for me”, he said with a smile. “I’ve had a bit of stick about it. It’s one of those things, I’m only scoring from 40-yards now! In my head I was probably celebrating already. Once I get one a game though and we’re winning, then I’m happy.

“There was a little bit of pressure on us tonight in that we were expected to win the game, probably pressure that this club hasn’t really felt over the last few years. With the players that the manager has taken in we are expected to be winning our home games. Games like that will probably give the manager a few heart attacks but it will put bums on seats and that’s part of what the game is about”.

gavin@dundalkdemocrat.ie