Ali Al-Hamadi targeting double figures after Wigan brace
Swansea City Under-23s forward Ali Al-Hamadi has his sights firmly set on reaching 10 goals for the season following his double in the victory over Wigan Athletic.
Al-Hamadi was on target in each half as the young Swans ran out 2-0 winners in the Professional Development League clash at Landore.
The Iraqi-born striker has been unfortunate not to find the net more frequently in recent weeks, with a combination of smart saves and the woodwork denying him.
But the 19-year-old’s persistence paid off as he took his tally for the campaign to seven goals, while earning the development side their maiden win under Kris O’Leary.
Al-Hamadi’s total is all the more impressive considering he practically missed the first half of the season after sustaining a pars fracture to his lower back in September.
With three games remaining, he fancies his chances of reaching double figures; a target that he revealed ensured he maintained focus during his rehabilitation.
“Over the past few weeks, it’s been a bit frustrating,” he said.
“I’ve been getting the chances, but the goalkeepers have made good saves or I’ve hit the woodwork.
“I made sure I stayed patient. As long as you keep getting in the right positions, the goals are always going to come.
“I was injured during the first half of the season, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse.
“Throughout my injury, I was always determined to get into double figures.
“I’ve got three games and as long as I keep playing the way I am, I’m confident I’ll get there.”
For both of his goals against Wigan, Al-Hamadi demonstrated his poacher’s instincts with a pair of one-touch finishes from close range.
And although far from spectacular, it is those efforts that give the 19-year-old the most satisfaction.
“As a striker, the one-touch finishes mean a lot to me,” he added.
“I’ve been working on those a lot over the past few years, and been in the right place at the right time.
“To people, they may look like tap-ins, but it’s hard to get in those positions and get those goals. They mean a lot more to me than a 40-yard screamer.
“The day before the game, I was going through some of my clips and I’ve been guilty of trying to get on the ball too much rather than just getting in the box to get goals.
“I’m always keen to get involved in the team and make sure I’m doing my part, but there was an emphasis on staying on the shoulder of the centre-backs and making sure I took my chances.
“I was happy to get the win; we’ve missed that feeling as a group. We’ve been playing so well but not getting our rewards, so it was good to get the three points.”