McAleny in goal of year battle with former Manchester United and Everton ace Wayne Rooney and Liverpool’s Oxlade-Chamberlain

Fleetwood Town's Conor McAleny
Fleetwood Town's Conor McAleny
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Is Conor McAleny’s Oxford wonder goal better than the strikes by ex-Manchester United and Everton hero Wayne Rooney and Liverpool ace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain?

The Fleetwood Town forward might be in the treatment room but he could pip those

England stars by winning a public vote in the Goal of the Season category at next week’s North West Football Awards.

McAleny’s (above) last-gasp wonder strike at Oxford sealed Fleetwood’s League One status last season and is one of eight goals nominated ahead of next Monday’s glittering ceremony in Manchester.

The Town attacker is also up against Nemanja Matic of Manchester United, Manchester City’s Georgia Stanway, Sammy Ameobi of Bolton, Preston’s Alan Browne and Rochdale’s Joe Thompson.

The ceremony will be hosted by the BBC’s Dan Walker at Lancashire County Cricket Club.

The injury-prone McAleny, currently out after a hamstring tweak, hasn’t scored since that April strike at Oxford. He suffered foot problems last season and scored just five goals from 34 appearances.

The 26-year-old was fit to start this season and opened his account against Leicester Under-23 in September’s Checkatrade Trophy tie.

He was injured days later in the home draw with Accrington Stanley but has returned to training and could make a comeback in Sunday’s FA Cup tie at non-league Alfreton Town.

On that goal at Oxford, McAleny said: “As soon as it went in I was just buzzing.

“It has been frustrating goal-wise for a few weeks for me, so the lads were chuffed for me.

“I was thinking, ‘Try to cut inside and get a shot off’. As soon as I got the ball there was only one thing on my mind – to get a clean strike on goal.

“I haven’t hit one like that in a while. It was coming too and I’m more than pleased to score in that fashion.”

McAleny is not the only Fleetwood player up for an award next week.

Vice-captain Ash Eastham is a League One Player of the Year nominee, with Ash Hunter named in the Rising Star of the Year category.

You can vote for McAleny via Twitter: @NWFAwards with #NWFAGoalD

n Fleetwood Town’s development squad travel to Huddersfield Town today for their second group match in the Central League Cup, a 1pm kick-off at the Terriers’ Canalside training ground.