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Dominic Foley
Position: Striker
From: Wolves - free transfer - July 1999
Career stats: Soccerbase
There is: An international striker struggling to get out


It's not often that Mick McCarthy seems to serve any purpose...but never say never. For without the contribution of the Irish manager, his elevation of Dominic Foley to the international stage, it would be rather difficult to make the following admission.

Dominic Foley looks rather good.

There, I've said it. Rather good. We should, as ig suggested in his earlier profile, have had more faith. "GT must have seen something", was the suggestion. Well he had, obviously. And now the rest of us, at least many of us, are beginning to see it too.

Not that he's anything like the finished article, of course. In fact, having said that he's rather good it seems contradictory to say that he's never rather good. At least, at no one point in time is Dom Foley anywhere close to rather good...rather, over the course of a game, or even a half, Foley will sort of average out as such. For every composed, unfussy piece of control, Foley will compensate by being blown off the ball by a passing breeze. For every astonishing dummy there is an embarrassing, Bambi-esque tripping over his own feet. Foley is rather good only in a West Brom-like hot or cold sort of way, often switching from one mode to the other within seconds.

Foley's international emergence and early goalscoring exploits (at the time of writing he has scored one more goal for the Irish national side than he has in two spells at Watford) have given his supporters some welcome credibility. From here, much like a Ngonge header, Foley's career could head in any number of directions. One possibility, the most favourable, revolves around the hopeful comparisons with Ross Jenkins quietly suggested by those venerable enough to remember. Another involves twoleftfeetFoley winning the day over internationalFoley, and our Dom heading off to the lower divisions. Yet another involves Mick McCarthy again passing on his expert advice to a young Irish Watford striker...we've been there before.

Either way, one feels that if this ugly duckling is to become a swan at Watford he needs to do it soon. Foley would not be anywhere near the starting line-up given a fully fit squad, one suspects, and whilst he is still young-ish he's not that 24 he's more senior than several of whom more is expected, notably our two record signings.

So now or never then. Given Dom's response to his international recognition and the suggestion that this is a player sensitive to the fans' behaviour (notably his more impressive away performances), all those in favour of the former might do well to keep their fiercer criticisms to themselves for the time being....

Matt Rowson
Last updated: June 2000