Dominic Foley: A European Career
There are very few players who can put on their CV that they have played in Greece, Portugal, Belgium, England and Ireland as well as gaining 6 caps for their country. Dominic Foley certainly can.
Foley made his breakthrough at Wolverhampton Wanders at the age of 19. Unable to hold down a first team place, Foley decided that his best opportunity for regular football would come by going on loan. Loan spells at Watford, Notts County and Etnikos Piraeus of Greece followed. Graham Taylor of Watford decided to give Foley a chance and signed him up in 1999.
Despite never setting the world alight at Vicarage Road, it was at this time that Foley received his first call up to the senior Irish squad. The 2000 US Cup was the time Foley’s stock really grew for Ireland. Ireland only took part in the US Cup after qualification to Euro 2000 was cruelly taken away as a result of Stavrevski’s stoppage time equalizer for FYR Macedonia in the final qualifying campaign game, followed by an away goals defeat to Turkey in the playoffs. Foley took his opportunity and netted twice at the US Cup, against Mexico in his second cap and also against the United States. Over the next few years Foley would struggle in the domestic scene in England with unsuccessful loan spells at a host of clubs including Swindon, Queens Park Rangers and Southend United.
Foley then said goodbye to English football and made the move to Portuguese side Sporting Braga. However, he only made 12 appearances in a full season there and decided to return to Ireland to play with Bohemians. Foley settled well in Ireland and found the net on 7 occasions from 30 appearances. His performance in the Intertoto Cup against K.A.A. Gent was so impressive that the Belgian side decided to sign him. Bohemians were very unhappy as they felt the player had been ‘tapped up’ . This however did not prevent the move from taking place. His time in Ireland was also tainted by Foley claiming that the league was of a poor standard.
In Belgium Foley started to play the best football of his career. He spent 4 years at gent and represented the side on over 100 occasions. In the summer of 2009, Foley moved to the picturesque city of Brugge to represent Cercle Brugge. Again he has continued his fine form, winning the clubs top goalscorer award for the 2009/10 season. Foley is very much enjoying an Indian summer in his career. However he will no doubt be disappointed to have represented Ireland on only 6 occasions. Cercle Brugge currently sit in 7th position in Belgian Jupiler league, one position behind their cross city rivals Club Brugge. Foley has certainly had an eventful career, and it is refreshing to him being so successful at the moment in Belgium.
An example of Foley’s goals from his time at Gent
Foleys first irish goal against Mexico in the US Cup in 2000