With the start of the season looming its good to see the hoops have scored regular goals and a couple with pure panache. This made the friendlies a successful and informative process, so I thought I would mention the 2 players who scored my personal favourite pre-season goal.
The goal, of course was the absolute beauty of a reply against Portsmouth, who had the lead and were looking to close out a 1 – 0 win.
The hoops had gone close a couple of times during the match but it wasn’t until the 82nd minute that Bradley Orr pushed the ball to the side and saw his team-mate calling out wide.
He produced a beautiful pin point cross just behind the defender which was met very nicely by the ever hungry Jamie Mackie who finished from 10 yards.
These two look like they may combine quite a few times during this upcoming season so lets have a brief profile look at both players:-
Born 1/11/82 in Liverpool, he went to Cardinal Heenan catholic high school (the same school which produced Steven Gerrard and David Nugent).
He started his youth career at Everton then was taken on by Newcastle without an appearance before being loaned to Burnley in 2004. Finally someone noticed his potential in the form of Bristol City.
Here he had 229 appearances for the robins scoring 12 goals, Bradley had come of age during these years, he was a rock solid defender with a good football brain but more importantly a player who was dependable, be became a firm favourite of the loyal Bristol City fans and quite rightly so.
In Sept 2006 he had a run in with a couple of bouncers at Romeo Browns in Bristol, things didn’t go the way he planned whilst standing up for his friends so he ended up doing a little time. But let’s not talk too much about that as every man jack of us has done something we regret plus he has turned the corner, paid his dues and become a better man for it.
To be honest a better player too, secretly I kind of like knowing that he is a mans man, someone who will stand his ground, give everything to the cause or team-mates and the hoops are going to need players like that in the league this year.
The championship hopefully will have many flair games where QPR can show their skills, but there are more grittier, hard tackling no nonsense teams looking to grind out results anyway they can for promotion and survival. More players like this can only be a bonus.
Good luck to the other teams trying to get past this guy, he is quick, intelligent football wise and in my opinion underrated. 2010 is his time to shine.
Born on 28/9/85 in Dorking, Surrey. He started at non-league Leatherhead before becoming a trainee at Wimbledon in 2003. They only gave him 20 appearances in 2 troubled years for Wimbledon, seemingly bleeding him into the squad slowly whilst they transformed into the Milton Keynes Dons.
Fortunately Exeter City found him languishing away in that team in late August of 2005. Finally Jamie had found his break, adapting to a different style of playing within weeks of joining. He stayed there for nearly three seasons and repaid their trust with 19 goals in 91 appearances, not bad from someone who swapped between holding midfielder sitting in front of the back four to attacking midfielder and a couple of games as a striker thrown in for good measure.
If you look up the word adaptable in the concise English dictionary you will see a picture of Jamie Mackie with his thumbs up grinning. There was to be more on the cards for Mackie; he handed in a transfer request and joined Plymouth Argyle in 2008.
On his very first appearance for Plymouth (12/02/2008) against Barnsley he broke a record. He entered as a substitute and scored within 11 seconds!
Now how much of an entrance do you want, he scored again not nine minutes later by weaving through the defence and neatly slotting it away into the bottom corner for a 3 – 0 victory.
Jamie stayed at Plymouth for 2 years making 98 appearances and scoring 16 goals. He is most remembered for a real stunner against Reading where he scored a 25 yard smasher to give the Pilgrims the lead in an eventual 2-2 draw.
It was one of those goals of a lifetime that will reverberate through the terraces for many years to come.
Together both these relatively new signings make the hoops look even more exciting, adding flair, grit, adaptability and a sense of empowerment that can only make the fans grin silently in anticipation of the upcoming challenge.
Game on footy fans. The hoops are ready for the new season but is the championship prepared and ready for the hoops?
The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.