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Monday, 01 September 2014

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Injured Carlisle teen nets four goals with 'wrong' foot to fire team to victory

When schoolboy Daniel Smales cracked two ribs in a car crash, his biggest worry was missing his football team’s final games of the season.

Daniel Smales photo
Daniel Smales

Kicking a ball with his left foot, as he usually does, was so painful, his physio warned him not to play until his ribs had completely healed.

But the 16-year-old hot-shot was so determined to return to action for Inter Pirelli Under-16s that he started shooting with his unfavoured right foot – and fired home four goals in their 6-1 victory over Crown Newlaithes on Sunday.

His stunning performance earned the Caldew School pupil, from Orton Park, near Carlisle, the man of the match award.

Daniel and his mum Judith were involved in a collision with another car on Castle Way last month and he was taken to the Cumberland Infirmary with injuries down his left side.

Despite protests from his family, the striker refused to miss his side’s final game in the Carlisle Glass Longhorn Youth Football League season as he didn’t want to let down manager Andrew Boyce and his team-mates.

Daniel said: “I’m a left-footed player and the ribs I cracked were on the left side.

“After the game everybody was laughing because they couldn’t understand why I’d scored all the goals with my right foot.

“I just kept putting the ball on my right foot when I went to shoot – and it worked a treat.”

Daniel, who also plays for his school team, was on Carlisle United’s books until he was 12, but has been playing for Inter Pirelli for the past three seasons. He scored his opening goal in the first half on Sunday, before hitting a second-half hat-trick.

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