Conwy striker McGonigle insists he’s always been about scoring goals
Entry into academy football is not the be all and end all for football players into today’s industry.
The natural progression for footballers has always been entry into a top level academy system. But as many players like Jamie Vardy have proved, you don’t necessarily need academy football to know where the back of the net is.
Conwy Borough striker Corrig McGonigle is much the same.
Having never played academy football outside of Wales, the striker, who holds the Glantraeth record number of goals in one season, has started this season in much the same vein for his new club, Conwy Borough.
“As my football career goes I’ve always been about scoring goals no matter what team I have represented and luckily I’ve been consistent enough to do that at all levels.”
“I haven’t represented many academies but I have played for Bangor 19s. During the season I was there we won the Welsh Premier Development League, scoring 30 goals in 17 games along the way.”
However, despite never featuring in an academy system, the striker has managed to situate himself at the right clubs for his development.
The striker cites the work of the three coaches specifically who have helped guide him on his path to being the clinical striker he is today.
“I have had plenty of influential coaches which have helped my overall game as a striker. Dave Cavanagh, Jamie Davies and my current coach Alun Winstanley are the main 3. Especially now playing with Conwy and adapting to a new role on the right hand side.”
McGonigle was part of the infamous Glantraeth side who won the Welsh Alliance league and Cookson Cup double in 2016-17 but rejected the chance of promotion.
The club saw a mass overhaul of playing staff that summer, including manager Warren Gibbs who stood down, and star striker McGonigle, who left the club for Conwy Borough.
The former Glantraeth striker admits it was disappointing when Glantraeth remained in the Welsh Alliance after netting his 35 goals in the league that season, but insists it was the right decision for the club.
“Obviously it was a disappointment initially, however it would not have been sustainable and overall, and it was the correct decision. A lot of devoted people worked hard behind the scenes and ultimately it was only for financial reasons why Glantraeth didn’t choose to be promoted.”
However, the former Caernarfon man indictaed that should the club have gone up to the Huws Gray Alliance, he would have stayed at Glantraeth.
“It’s hard to say having moved on and progressed whether I’d still be there now, however, if we had gone up I would have certainly stayed that season. I had a very enjoyable time there and never got bored of scoring goals. It was a nice achievement personally breaking their club record for the most goals scored in a single season with 59.”
Image: Will Cheshire
However, the striker moved on to Conwy Borough that summer and insists that the move has been the correct decision.
After meeting up with Gareth Thomas and Alun Winstanley in the 2017/18 season, the striker knew that Conwy would be the right move for him.
“Having met up with the manager and assistant manager it was clear to me their aims matched mine. Along with this playing with the spine of players from the Glantraeth team it made sense to move there. The ground is very good and it is a great place to play your football.”
Going into his second season at the club, the striker has started the 2018-19 campaign in much the same fashion as he did the last.
Having started this season in form, he believes he’s on track to meet his own personal aims.
“Realistically 20 goals in the league would be a very good achievement. However, 30 overall would be a very good outcome. I am eight in eight currently so am on target.”
But, despite missing out on academy football at a young age, the youngster does not see the Huws Gray Alliance as the ceiling for his own potential.
Having scored so many goals for a player so young, there is most certainly scope for progress for the forward and McGonigle himself has his eyes set on the Welsh Premier League in the future.
“Welsh Premiership football would be one aim. If I continue to play how I am and consistently work hard to improve my game I don’t see why that can’t be reached in the near future.”
FEATURED IMAGE: Will Cheshire