Steven Bradley’s fantastic start to life in a Dundalk shirt has been recognised by the Soccer Writers Association of Ireland who have nominated him for the SWAI SSE Airtricity Player of the Month award for February.
The 19-year-old winger, who is on a season-long loan deal from Hibernian, scored Dundalk’s first of the campaign against Derry City on February 18th and followed that up with the equaliser against Bohemians at Dalymount Park a week later. On Monday night, he added a brace to his tally in the 3-0 win over Finn Harps at Oriel Park.
The six-man shortlist is made up of Bradley, Chris Forrester (St Patrick’s Athletic), Promise Omichere (Bohemians), Jamie McGonigle (Derry City), Ed McGinty (Sligo Rovers) and Jack Byrne (Shamrock Rovers) with the winner due to be announced on Wednesday, March 9th.
“Steven came over late in pre-season and if you had asked us – and him – would he get four goals in his first three league games then we would have probably said that would be a bit unrealistic – but he has,” said Dundalk head coach Stephen O’Donnell.
“The important thing is for him to keep it going now, from a mental standpoint. If he does that, and his application is good, then he already has the hard stuff, which is the ability, and he will continue to make an impression. If he drops off it from an application and mentality standpoint, then he won’t be able to bring that ability out and show people and he knows that. ”
If Bradley finds the net against Sligo Rovers at The Showgrounds on Saturday night he will become the first player since Peter Hanrahan in 1990 to score in his opening four top-flight games for the club.
The feat was also achieved by Danny Hale, back in 1966, while in 2007, Shaun Williams also scored in his first league games when Dundalk were in the First Division.
“That would be a great achievement,” said O’Donnell. “I’m not sure if Steven knows about that. It’s a chance to put himself down in the history books but the most important thing is that he applies himself and works hard for the team on Saturday night.”