ST PATRICK'S Athletic manager Liam Buckley is certain that man of the moment Chris Forrester has the ability to play at a higher level and hopes that a programme to build his strength will pay dividends.
Forrester has become an internet sensation again after his stunning 40-yard volley in Monday's 4-0 dismissal of Drogheda United at Hunky Dorys Park. The 21-year-old announced himself to a wider audience with a wonder strike for the Saints against Shamrock Rovers two years ago and was on the verge of joining Bristol City last winter until they sacked then manager Sean O'Driscoll.
Forrester has since attracted plenty more attention from across the water, but Buckley thinks that the creative midfielder must become more consistent and also needs to strengthen up, with potential suitors voicing concerns about his slight frame.
"Chris certainly has the ability to play at quite a few levels in England but he needs to do that every week. I'd be the first to wish him well if he gets that opportunity, having had it myself 100 years ago," said Buckley.
"But, for now, I'm thinking of what he can do for St Pat's, because we want to retain our league title. I do think he is getting better. He is getting stronger, he is doing more (strength work) and he is heavier, though you wouldn't think that looking at him."
Buckley believes that positive influences around Forrester in the dressing-room will aid his development. Ireland international Keith Fahey was on the pitch on Monday and described Forrester's instinctive first-time strike as the best goal he's ever seen live.
"We have a lot of top professionals who look after themselves physically and do their job and we do things right measuring body fat, weight and hydration and all that stuff," he said. "Physically, Keith does add a dimension to that but I could mention a few others in the dressing-room who are also good role models for the younger lads."