FC Edmonton’s all-time leading goal scorer Daryl Fordyce has plenty experience when it comes to playing new positions on the club and international level.
Despite being known as an out-and-out striker during his time at FC Edmonton, Fordyce spent majority of his career playing as a central midfielder. The 29-year old played as a midfielder at the club level and the youth international level. However, when called upon, Fordyce impressed in the striker position for both club and country.
“The first time I played striker was for Northern Ireland’s U-19’s,” Fordyce recalled. “The manager put me upfront for the last 10 minutes against Moldova and I managed to score two goals. Next game I played against Serbia as a striker and I scored all four goals in our 4-1 victory and then I scored one against Belgium.”
When the Belfast native returned to the Irish League with Glentoran, he spent two years playing as a midfielder before transitioning to a striker position. Fordyce convinced his coach to play him as a striker since the club were short of options upfront due to injuries.
“I told the manager to play me as a striker because our two strikers were injured,” Fordyce said. “We ended up winning our first game 6-1 and I scored five of those goals. That’s when I moved to playing up front and when I came to Edmonton, [FC Edmonton head coach] Colin Miller saw the videos of me as a striker and that’s where he kept me.
This year, Fordyce has played a different role in the 2016 North American Soccer League (NASL) season than he may be used to. The Belfast native transitioned back into the midfield this year and has been a constant figure in that position throughout the season for Miller.
“It’s been a natural transition for me,” Fordyce stated. “I played as a central midfielder all my life growing up basically. Playing this formation makes it natural for me to slot back into midfield, especially with Ameobi upfront…I have a good understanding with him since we’ve been playing together for three years.”
Despite playing in the midfield, Fordyce has still managed to find the back of the net on three occasions. He scored from the penalty spot, a left-footed shot from the centre of the box and another from a late run into the box to finish Ameobi’s rebound and secure all three points versus New York Cosmos in stoppage time.
“I find making late runs into the box handy,” Fordyce said. “Guys get tired and lose concentration as the game goes on and that’s where you can take advantage of it. It might take 90 minutes like the Cosmos game till I find that chance to get into the box as a late runner.”
Fordyce is in his fourth season with the Eddies, who are having one of their best seasons to date. The squad is currently tied for first in the NASL Fall Season standings alongside Spring Season Champion Indy Eleven, with a game in hand.
“We find ways to win 1-0 and I think that stems from the experience we have in the roster,” Fordyce stated. “The older you get, the more you understand how a game is going and that’s how we find ways to get a goal as the game goes on. We keep a cool head and that’s important, I won a few leagues and that was the difference. The lads don’t get on each other back, we don’t panic and we work hard for each other and that’s important.