Brandon Kavanagh goal driven by 'anger' as Derry City midfielder looks to push on
The 22 year-old midfielder, who joined the club on a three-year deal from Shamrock Rovers in December 2021, was handed a rare start in the 3-0 win over the Lilywhites.
Competition in the Derry midfield has been fierce this season but as Ruaidhri Higgins freshened up his starting XI just 72 hours after winning against Bohemians at Dalymount Park, Kavanagh was one of the main beneficiaries having bided his time.
And the Dubliner wasn't about to let the opportunity pass him by as he produced a fine performance and a venomous strike for Derry's second goal.
"I think I hit it with a bit of anger," laughed Kavanagh. "A couple of passes didn't go my way but once that set up nice, I thought 'right that's it, just hit that.'
And it stayed hit! There's no doubt he has that quality in the final third but it's a side of his game he will want to produce more of and effect games more in that final third when given the chance.
The former Ireland U21 international admits he's been frustrated watching from the bench but he doesn't need reminding of how competitive the squad has become this season.
"Yeah of course," he agreed when asked if he was frustrated with his lack of playing time. Listen, there's a great bunch of lads here and the talent here is unreal. I was just biding my time, being ready and tonight we got our rewards.
"It was just about freshening it up tonight and the lads that came in did really well. In training we just test each other. The levels are always high in training and that's what the manager and staff want - they want high standards and if we come into games like that, that's how we can do so well.
"We just move on to Friday and UCD. They took points off big teams already and we know it's just about getting into our rhythm now and hopefully start knocking teams off."
City boss Higgins was full of praise for the diminutive midfielder, claiming Kavanagh 'showed his class' and professionalism.
"Brandon has trained really well over the last couple of weeks, really well," said Higgins. "As good as I've seen him train. He got his opportunity tonight and took it. That's what you want.
"Brandon has shown the way over the last few weeks when you're not in the team, how professional he's been and how you go about your business and it's a lesson to all the players who are maybe not in the team. He hasn't felt sorry for himself and you could see in his performance how sharp he looked.
"He was excellent, his fitness levels were good. Brandon's was an exquisite goal, absolutely top class and he's got that quality.
"It's been a really difficult time for him. He played a lot last year, not as much this year but he's trained really well over the last few weeks and I was keen to get him in and thought tonight was the night."