Will Buckley (footballer)
|Full name||William Edward Buckley|
|Date of birth||21 November 1989|
|Place of birth||Oldham, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|2011–2014||Brighton & Hove Albion||96||(19)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 May 2015.
William Edward "Will" Buckley (born 21 November 1989 in Oldham, Greater Manchester) is an English footballer who plays as a right and left sided winger for Premier League club Sunderland, having moved from Brighton & Hove Albion during August 2014. Buckley has also previously played for Rochdale and Watford.
Buckley started his career at Rochdale, becoming a youth scholar in 2006. Having played in the club's reserve side, he went on to make his first league appearance in Rochdale's 4–2 home defeat against Hereford United on 12 February 2008. He made a second substitute appearance in a 2–1 away at Bradford City on 16 February, before making his first start for the club in a 1–0 defeat against Wycombe Wanderers on 23 February. Buckley made four more appearances, all as a substitute, in the regular season as Rochdale finished 5th.
Buckley did not feature in either leg of Rochdale's League Two play-off semi-final victory over Darlington. However, he made an appearance in the final at Wembley, where Rochdale played Stockport County for a place in League One. Buckley came on as a 73rd-minute substitute for Nathan D'Laryea with Rochdale 3–1 down. They went on to lose 3–2.
After not playing in the first four games of the 2008–09 season, Buckley started a run of seven consecutive league starts. In the third of these, a 2–2 draw away at Rotherham United on 13 September 2008, Buckley scored his first professional goal. He then scored in the two subsequent games. In January 2009 Buckley was named by The Times newspaper in an article about rising stars in the game. In total Buckley made 41 appearances and scored 10 goals in the regular season. Rochdale finished 6th to again qualify for the play-offs. Buckley started the first leg of the semi-final, a 0–0 draw at home to Gillingham, before being substituted for Joe Thompson. In the second leg Buckley came off the bench to replace Thompson with all the goals in the 2–1 defeat already scored.
Buckley made 18 appearances for Rochdale in 2009–10, scoring 3 goals, all in spell of 3 consecutive games in September 2009. On 26 January 2010 Buckley transferred to Championship side Watford, signing a three and a half-year contract. At his time of departure Rochdale were 9 points clear at the top of League Two.
On signing, Watford manager Malky Mackay said of Buckley:
Will's an exciting young talent who has impacted upon Rochdale [...] There's a lot of growth and potential in him. [...] Will's an attacking player who is comfortable on either wing and can play up and off a forward as well, he's definitely someone who is attack-minded [...] we don't have the financial luxury of signing players from the Championship and the Premiership on the whole, therefore we need to look to see where the best young talent is coming through in the lower leagues, the Conference and up in Scotland as well.
After recovering from a thigh strain, Buckley was eventually given his Watford debut (following 90 minutes and a goal for the reserves) on 21 March 2010 in a 3–1 defeat at Cardiff City, replacing Don Cowie in the 67th minute. After coming on as a 90th minute substitute for his home debut on 24 March 2010, Buckley was handed his full debut in a 1–1 draw against Middlesbrough on 27 March.
Buckley scored his first Watford goal on 3 April 2010 against Preston North End. Watford drew the game 1–1.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Buckley scored his first and second league goals for Brighton & Hove Albion in a dramatic 2–1 victory against Doncaster. His second goal came 8 minutes into stoppage time in the second half and earned Brighton their first win at the AMEX stadium. Buckley followed this up with his first start for Brighton, in the League Cup, earning a penalty in a 1–0 victory against Gillingham. On 3 December 2011, Buckley again came off the bench to score an injury-time winner – a 92nd minute goal in a 1–0 victory over Nottingham Forest. Buckley scored his fourth goal of the season in a 2–0 win over Bristol City, on 14 January 2012. It was his first Brighton goal not scored after coming on as a substitute. In the very next league game, Buckley found the net twice more with a match-winning brace away at Peterborough United – his second coming in the 88th minute. Buckley was then crucially involved in Brighton's shock win over Newcastle United in the FA Cup fifth round; his shot deflected to cause the own-goal that gave Brighton the 1–0 victory. On 4 February 2012, Buckley continued his extraordinary run of form by scoring yet another late winner at home, a 90th minute goal to see off Leicester City 1–0. In April, Buckley scored his eighth goal of his Brighton career against former club Watford, with a late equaliser to make the score 2–2.
Buckley scored his first goal of the 2012–13 campaign in a 3–0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday. Now established as a first-team starter, he scored further goals against Ipswich (another late equaliser), Wolves in a 3–3 draw, and a brace at Huddersfield Town which secured a 2–1 Brighton win. On 4 January 2013, Buckley signed a new four-and-half-year contract at Brighton, tying him to the club until 2017.
Buckley is eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland through his grandfather and has expressed his desire to declare. Former teammate Stephen Ward has backed him to get called up in the near future.
Statistics correct as of match played 13 September 2014.
|Club||Season||Division||League||FA Cup||League Cup||League Trophy||Play-offs||Total|
|Brighton & Hove Albion||2011–12||Championship||29||8||4||0||2||0||0||0||—||35||8|
|Brighton & Hove Albion total||96||19||6||0||3||0||0||0||2||0||108||19|
- 2011–12 FA Cup Player of the Round: Fourth Round
- "List of Players under Written Contract Registered Between 1 January 2010 and 31 January 2010" (PDF). The Football Association. Retrieved 2010-02-07.
- "Will Buckley: All time playing career". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 8 March 2011.
- Dart, Tom (12 January 2009). "Football's top 50 rising stars". The Times (London: Times). Retrieved 2008-03-22.
- "GROWTH AND POTENTIAL". watfordfc.com. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 28 January 2010.
- Smith, Frank (6 June 2011). "Buckley secures £1m move". Watford Observer. Retrieved 6 June 2011.
- "Brighton 2 – 1 Doncaster". BBC Sport. 6 August 2011. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- "Brighton 1 – 0 Gillingham". BBC Sport. 9 August 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2011.
- "Brighton 1 – 0 Forest". BBC Sport. 3 December 2011. Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- "Brighton 2 – 0 Bristol City". BBC Sport. 14 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.
- "Peterborough 1 – 2 Brighton". BBC Sport. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- "Brighton 3 – 0 Wednesday". BBC Sport. 16 September 2012. Retrieved 16 September 2012.
- "Buckley Signs New Deal". Seagulls.co.uk. 4 January 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2013.
- "Buckley deal completed". Sunderland A.F.C. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
- "Buckley: I want Irish call-up". Hearld.ie. 29 October 2013.
- "Stephen backing Buckley for call". Hearld.ie. 13 November 2013.