A new season in the Irish league is upon us our attention turns to week two of the Danske Bank Premiership. After an exciting first week of fixtures, it was a record-breaking opening day of the season with just short of 9,000 fans coming through the local turnstiles. With many teams strongly reinforcing their attacking options we have chosen five key players who we think will smash the back of the net this weekends Danske Bank Premiership fixtures!
This is Kirk Millers fifth season at the blues, the talented winger picked up 90% of Linfield’s player of the year awards for last season- the only positive that came from a hugely disappointing season by Linfield’s high standards. Miller is an exceptionally talented footballer with a lot of ability, who picks up fantastic positions. He chipped in with 24 assists and 7 goals last season and will be keen to build on that this year again.
He chipped in with 24 assists and 7 goals last season and will be keen to build on that this year again
This weekend sees the blues take on newly promoted Institute under the lights at Windsor Park on Friday night. This is the type of game that will suit Miller finding pockets of space on the impressive Windsor playing surface where he has the potential to give the ‘Stute’ backline a night to forget.
The extremely talented wide man comes into the season after a fine pre-season and a European goal under his belt. A wide man with a return of 17 goals in 36 games is an outstanding record which any Irish league manager would want in their team. Darren has an impressive record of scoring goals against the so-called ‘Big Dogs’ of the Irish league. Most notably his stunning strike in the Irish Cup final against Cliftonville which helped bring the famous trophy back to the Ballycastle Road for the first time since 2003.
Mr Heatley where do you start with this little magician! His stats speak volume over the last four seasons with a return of 20+ goals per season. Heatley is a player who has a fine record in games and can always be relied upon.
His stats speak volume over the last four seasons with a return of 20+ goals per season
With the departure of Gavin Whyte there will be increased pressure on Paul to deliver the goods on a consistent level once again. It was surprising not to see Heatley find the back of the net on the opening day of the season, but expect him to get off the mark this week at Seaview!
The big striker has begun his first full season at Mourneview after making the switch in January of last season from Warrenpoint. Murray looks to be a handful for each Irish league defence, linking up well with his fellow strike partner Andrew Mitchell. Murray had a fantastic game on Saturday against a strong Linfield defence his endeavour and work rate certainly did not go unnoticed. Stephen comes face to face with his former club this weekend and will be keen to get off the mark and improve on his tally from last season.
The local Newry lad returns to face his hometown club this Friday evening. Hughes who joined Dungannon from Cliftonville last January had an impressive 8 goals in 11 appearances from January to the end of the season.
Hughes possess he could be the man to fire Dungannon back on track
Dungannon will be looking to bounce back immediately after a disappointing home defeat on Saturday at the hands of Ballymena, and with the ability and class Hughes possess he could be the man to fire Dungannon back on track. Shot or cross? You decide?