Seamus Coleman continued his excellent season with his a goal in Everton’s 4-1 win over Fulham at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.
The 25-year-old struck 17 minutes from time to put Roberto Martinez’s side 2-1 up after Dimitar Berbatov’s penalty for the visitors had cancelled out Leon Osman’s opener.
Coleman tucked in his third goal of the campaign - again on the left foot - after Steven Pienaar’s cross before Barry scored a header and Kevin Mirallas grabbed an injury-time fourth.
The win moves Everton up to fifth place in the Premier League having not lost at home since last December. It’s been an excellent campaign to date for the Merseysiders.
Coleman, too, has had an excellent calendar year after starting 2013 with the disappointment of missing out of Euro 2012. He has excelled and cemented his place in both Ireland and Everton’s team.
The Killybegs native was last week at the children’s ward at Whiston Hospital in Liverpool with Everton teammate Leighton Baines.
There, Coleman recalled the games at home that shaped his love for football as a child.
“We would play every evening and every Saturday morning, whenever we’d get a chance,” he recalls.
“One day it could be five against five, the next it could be 10 against 10.
“So Saturday has always been the best day of the week.
“It is still just like magic every time I walk down the tunnel and you get hit with that cheer from the fans. It sounds silly but it’s at times like that I find it hard to believe I play in the Premier League.
“‘I suppose it’s because it was my dream when I was growing up and not everyone gets the chance to live their dreams. I feel so lucky to be here but I do feel like I belong.”
Under Roberto Martinez, Everton’s have lost just once all season and prior to the win over Fulham, drew 1-1 at Arsenal and won 1-0 at Manchester United.
Everton are away to Swansea City on Sunday before they welcome Sunderland on St Stephen’s Day. They round off 2013 with a home fixture against Sunderland.
Coleman, though, prefers not to draw many comparisons between Matinez and his predecessor David Moyes.
“Each has been brilliant in his own way,’ Coleman said.
“It’s not, ‘Oh Martinez is so much better than Moyes’. The current manager just wants us to get on the ball. He encourages you to get forward and has been brilliant for me.
“He watches so much football, and shows us so many different clips. At half-time in the first match at Norwich, he told me to attack the back post, as he’d seen I’d had a chance in the first half.
“He told me to delay my run and I ended up scoring. His eye for detail is something else.’
“There are a lot of teams who are up fighting with us but we have faith in what we can do. It would be a dream to finish in the top four.”