Northern Ireland international Shayne Lavery assesses his debut season in the Championship with Blackpool

Shayne Lavery is happy with the way he’s adjusted to the rigours of Championship football for Blackpool.

Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, 8:00 am

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The striker is currently the club’s leading goalscorer with 10 goals in league and cup, two ahead of Josh Bowler and Gary Madine.

It marks an impressive return for the 23-year-old, who was playing part-time football as recently as last season for Northern Irish side Linfield.

“I’ve loved being here,” Lavery said.

“Everyone has been great with me, the lads, the fans and everyone around the club.

“The season has been decent so far. We’re always looking up so we always feel we can do better, but it’s not been too bad so far.”

Lavery has had a keenly-contested fight on his hands this season to secure a starting role.

Shayne Lavery is Blackpool's leading goalscorer this season

While Gary Madine has largely been a fixture in the first-team since his return from injury, Lavery and Jerry Yates have both been in and out of the team.

Lavery is well used to making an impact off the bench though, given it’s something he did on his competitive debut in the season opener at Bristol City.

The Northern Irishman, who is now away with his national team ahead of their international friendlies against Luxembourg and Hungary, grabbed a last-minute equaliser in front of the travelling Seasiders at Ashton Gate back in August.

It’s no wonder then that Lavery’s goal, his first in tangerine, ranks as his favourite during his time at Bloomfield Road.

“My favourite goal is either the Bristol City one, which was on my debut, or the Barnsley one at home,” the former Everton academy graduate said.

“The Bristol City one probably edges it because it was in the last minute and it was my Championship debut.

“It was a great confidence booster to score so early into the season to tell myself I could score in the Championship. It was a great start.

“I just like to be alive in the box and thankfully it went in on that day.

“I couldn’t have dreamed of making a better start really and the fans have been great with me ever since, so hopefully it continues.”