Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Rohan Ince could not believe his luck after his wonder-strike against Swindon Town was crowned Goal of the Season at the annual Players’ Awards ceremony on Monday evening.
The 22-year-old’s thunderous volley in the Capital One Cup sent Albion into the third round of the competition after a 4-2 victory against the Robins back in August.
He told seagulls.co.uk, “I never expected to receive a goal of the season award, because I don’t score many goals. I’m not sure I’ll score another goal like that again.
“It started in the box and I cleared the ball up to Chris (O’Grady). I thought I could get forward so I ran up the pitch. Fortunately, the ball landed on the end of my foot and then I scored a great goal.
“I’ve watched it a few times and I couldn't believe I had hit it so fast. It’s good to watch it back and relive the moment.”
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The midfielder then paid tribute to the influence Chris Hughton has had on him and reflected on a lack of opportunities in the first half of the campaign.
“Chris Hughton tries to help me progress as a footballer and he knows I’m a young player with little first-team experience, so he takes that in mind and he’s helping me along the way.
“Last season was my breakthrough, so I was very pleased with my performances and I how I stepped into first-team football.
“This season didn’t start as well as I would have hoped, I've played more games in the second half of the season and had more of an impact. I’m still training hard and trying to improve every day to give my best.”
Ince admits the Championship has been a learning curve for him and says the best formula to combat the unpredictable nature of the league is to take it one game at a time.
“I’ve learned that you don’t know what’s going to happen in Championship football. Last season we were in the play-offs and this season we’ve been trying to avoid relegation, so anything can happen really.
“Next season we could be at the top or at the bottom, so you’ve just got to prepare and play the best you can to try and grind out results in every match.”