Hoban silenced his doubters in some style
PAT Hoban had his doubters when he returned to Dundalk at the start of the season but with a league title and a record breaking 26 Premier Division goals in the bag, it’s safe to say he has shut many of them up.
It was fitting that the 27-yearold was the one to pop up with the equaliser on Friday night to grab the point Stephen Kenny’s side needed to officially secure their 13th league title.
It saw him surpass the previous Premier Division record of 25 in a season and while that gave him huge delight, Hoban said nothing could compare to the feeling of being a league winner again.
‘It was just a good feeling to secure the league tonight. Personally for me it has been a difficult year and a half or two years so to break the record this season and to win the league with this fantastic group of players, I’m a bit overwhelmed.
‘The emotions maybe got the better of me but it was just such a great feeling to score and to get that league title back.’
While it would be hard to top winning the league on the last day of the season against Cork City like he did in 2014, a dramatic 90th minute goal wasn’t a bad way to kick off a weekend of celebrations.
‘It will be very hard to ever top what we did in 2014 but to win a league after the year we’ve had is superb.
‘There were a lot of doubts about us at the start of the season. People didn’t think we’d be anywhere near close but we proved a lot of people wrong this year. There’s a fine group of players in there and we’re set to break all sets of our records this year, the goals record and the points record as well so there’s lots still to achieve this season. For now it’s just a great feeling to have the league in the bag.’
Hoban reserved special praise for the role Patrick McEleney and Georgie Kelly played for his record breaking strike.
‘It was great work by Fats (McEleney) and Georgie. Fats must have had tired legs but he broke through two players and Georgie took away the defender and that gave me enough space.
‘We kind of needed that because they were sitting in and making it difficult for us. We were struggling to break them down but it was a great ball by Fats. He played it at a perfect weight that just allowed me to take a first touch and bury it. It was such a good feeling for it to go in.’
Hoban also felt he should have had a penalty shortly after the hour mark when he was bundled over in the box.
‘I thought it was a stone wall penalty but I can’t say too much. I haven’t got many of them this season. I’d say that has happened me five times this season alone but what can you do?
‘When you’re a big lad they just think I should be able to take it. We’ll take the result and league title though.’
Hoban is not resting on his laurels now and wants to keep scoring goals ahead of next month’s FAI Cup final at the Aviva Stadium
‘The Cup final is something to look forward to but we’ve to keep the momentum going in the three games we have left first.
‘We’ve to make sure that we keep working hard week in, week out to make sure we’re ready for that Cup final and the best way to do that is with nine points now in the next three games,’ he said.
Pat Hoban does a bit of break dancing in the dressing room.