Spirit's 'everywhere man' sparks local derby victory
Livewire Western Spirit player Sam Hay is the first to admit he plays everywhere on a football field.
However, as he proved in the latest CL2 local derby, the electrician can pose a dangerous option for opposing teams to handle.
Hay, who turns 24 on Thursday, celebrated early by playing a major role in Spirit's comprehensive 5-0 victory over the Ipswich City Bulls on Friday night.
He set up Spirit's two first half goals from superb crosses, before landing what proved to be the knockout blow by scoring himself after the break.
After that brilliant breakaway effort to find the net, Hay was replaced by coach Nick Paterson as a precaution given the Spirit player is managing some injury issues.
The victory was capped by two goals to speedster Jay Kitching and a late goal to Jay Johnson. Brodie Kenyon was the other first half scorer, seizing on Hay's fantastic pass across the goal mouth.
Hay was clearly pleased with his performance and that of the home team.
"It was a great night for all the boys,'' Hay said. "We gelled very well together and got the result.''
However, Hay was surprised with the one-sided scoreline given how close local duels have been in past seasons.
"It's always a hard game. The Bulls pretty much play their grand final,'' he said.
In the latest showdown, Spirit denied the Bulls any chance in front of a decent home crowd.
After battling hard early in the second half, the Bulls were kept scoreless, especially after key player Andreas Heider was sent off.
The 10 man outfit never recovered against a Spirit combination focused playing some attractive attacking football.
As for his role in the team, Mt Ommaney-based Hay said: "I'm all over the place.''
"I've been a utility probably the last six years now, just sitting where the team needs me. But I'm most comfortable up top,'' he said.
He showed that by linking well with the busy Fred Kenyi, skilful Kenyon, razor sharp Kitching and Spirit's midfield.
After playing his junior football in the Centenary area, Hay joined the Spirit youth team when it was formed. He instantly enjoyed linking with current teammates like Joel and Jarred Hancock.
"I've been around Western Spirit my whole life sort of thing,'' Hay said.
But he hasn't scored a lot of goals managing a range of injuries, including his knees, ankles and back.
His committed performance on Friday night showed how setting up goals is just as important as scoring them.
"Hopefully we can push forward now and go for a good run this year,'' he said.
It was Spirit's third win of the season after a first-round loss to The Gap.
The Bulls have a win, draw and two losses from their first four games, preparing to play at home on Saturday night.