Ipswich Town have handled the step-up to Championship football effortlessly, not daunted by the prospect of facing off against second-tier sides whatsoever after promotion from League One.
The Tractor Boys find themselves in the second automatic spot in the division after 16 games played, sitting pretty in second with the very real possibility of an unbelievable promotion to the Premier League on the cards – Kieran McKenna potentially masterminding a back-to-back promotion feat from the Portman Road dug-out subsequently.
The full-throttle football on display at Ipswich this season has excited Tractor Boys supporters all season long, even endearing the club to neutral fans as a result with their insistence on approaching each and every contest with a gung-ho mentality going forward.
It has led to McKenna’s men shipping goals for fun, however, conceding six goals in their last three second-tier encounters, but it’s also seen attackers for Ipswich in Conor Chaplin and Nathan Broadhead cause havoc up top – netting 12 goals between them, helping enormously towards Ipswich’s league-best tally of 36.
Yet, there’s an attacker formerly on the books at Ipswich plying his trade lower down the football pyramid for Notts County who is outscoring both Chaplin and Broadhead.
That man is David McGoldrick, whose ceiling is arguably way above League Two football. But at 35 years of age, he’s loving life currently for his hometown Magpies.
David McGoldrick’s statistics at Ipswich
Joining the Tractor Boys on an initial loan deal, the 6-foot attacker then signed on the dotted line permanently at Portman Road on the eve of the 2013/14 campaign.
McGoldrick would instantly become a prolific goalscorer in the ranks at Ipswich, scoring 14 times from 31 games during his first full season at the club in the Championship.
He would be a reliable figure for the Suffolk-based outfit throughout their years in the second tier to follow, amassing 45 goals in total for the club over 159 appearances.
However, his time at Portman Road was cruelly ended when it was announced his contract wouldn’t be renewed in 2018 – McGoldrick departing the club before a ball was even kicked ahead of the 2018/19 season, the same ill-fated term that saw the Tractor Boys crash out of the Championship to League One.
The Nottingham-born striker didn’t let his career completely fall to the wayside as a result of this bleak development however, revitalising his career away from Suffolk and continuing to be a leading man in attack.
David McGoldrick’s statistics since leaving Ipswich
McGoldrick would become an unlikely hero under Chris Wilder at Sheffield United directly after being let go of by Ipswich, signed on a free transfer and netting 15 goals in his first season with the Blades to help Wilder’s men clinch promotion to the Premier League.
The ex-Tractor Boys man would even be a consistent goalscoring threat for the club when top-flight football came calling, scoring eight times during the 2020/21 campaign in the Premier League even with the backdrop of his team unfortunately succumbing to relegation.
Since leaving Bramall Lane, McGoldrick has honed his craft further as a potent goalscorer in League One and League Two with both Derby County and Notts County.
He’s adored by the Magpies masses at Meadow Lane now, returning to play for the newly promoted team he started his career with back in 2004.
The 35-year-old is currently ahead of both Broadhead and Chaplin at Ipswich by two goals in the scoring charts at Notts County, scoring eight times from 17 games played in League Two.
He has also assisted a further five strikes, with ex Arsenal man Daniel Crowley and League Two sharp shooter Macaulay Langstaff also lethal in attack for Luke Williams’ men.
Most players find that their careers slowly fizzle out out the more they get closer to retirement, but it’s seemingly the opposite for the former Nottingham Forest and Southampton journeyman at this point in time who continues to perform at the peak of his powers.