Burnley’s strong Irish contingent have made their presence felt in the club’s Best Goal of 2017 poll, with three internationals nominated.
Robbie Brady, Jeff Hendrick and Stephen Ward all have brilliant strikes in the top five, along with two efforts from Belgian international Steven Defour.
Brady’s was a spectacular free-kick in a 1-1 draw against eventual champions Chelsea at Turf Moor, in what was his first appearance for the Clarets having made a club-record £13m move from Norwich City earlier in the January transfer window.
Ward’s, meanwhile, came at the beginning of this season and also came against Chelsea. The left-back’s goal, though, was slightly more surreal, as although it was was unquestionably a fantastic effort caught on the half-volley and giving Thibaut Courtois no chance of keeping it out, it sent Burnley 2-0 ahead in what ended up as a stunning 3-2 win for the visitors against the nine-man blues at Stamford Bridge.
Hendrick’s was the result of a wonderful team move by Burnley, involving Brady once again and assisted by Ward. 24 passes in all were conducted between teammates before Ward squared in to Hendrick to finish off, continuing their brilliant away form and pushing then-Everton manager Ronald Koeman further towards the exit door.
Although neither of Defour’s strikes can be discounted, one a delightful chip against Bristol City and the other a well-hit free kick against Manchester United at Old Trafford, to have three Irish players in that list shows what the Boys in Green are capable of.