Lincoln City’s Zak Elbouzedi has been awarded the Papa John’s Trophy Player of the Round for the second consecutive round, after another goal-scoring performance this time helping the Imps into Quarter-Finals.
His strike opened the scoring as the Sky Bet League One high-flyers ran out 4-0 winners against Accrington Stanley at the LNER Stadium in Round Three and Elbouzedi was impressed with the teams dominant display on the night.
“Before I scored I was very disappointed in myself because I had two easier opportunities, so I should have probably had a hat-trick,” he said reflecting back on the game.
“But I just put that to the back of my mind, it was really good play by the lads and I was calm, composed and managed to put the ball away.
“This competition has given me a lot of opportunity this season to play games for Lincoln City, I just wanted to make the most of it and I think winning this award has shown that I did make the most of it.
His performances in this seasons’ Papa John’s Trophy certainly caught the eye, most notably the eye of Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt, who acted quickly to acquire his services until the end of the season.
The 22-year-old made his debut for the Trotters four days after netting for Lincoln in that Round Three win over Accrington Stanley, and expressed his delight at getting the chance to play regular football.
“Every footballer wants to play regular games, so you just have to take the chance when it is given to you and the beauty of this competition is that manager’s give players a chance to go out there and show what they are made of,” he explained.
“Thankfully that is what I did.
“It is a different challenge playing regularly and one I am keen on taking, I have played a couple of game already but I haven’t showed the fans what I can do yet.
“Hopefully I can do that once I have settled in a bit more, and show them the player that I am scoring goals and contributing like I have done for Lincoln in the Papa John’s Trophy.”
Elbouzedi now has the opportunity to play alongside fellow Irishman Eoin Doyle, who lit up Sky Bet League One last season with Swindon Town.
Doyle was in inspired form last campaign netting 25 goals in league action, and learning from someone like him could be the key to Elbouzedi’s rise in the game.
“Whenever I have played regularly I have scored goals and I think once I get myself going,” said the youngster.
“I will hopefully score my fair share of goals for the club and I want to put some on a plate for Doyle as well because he certainly knows where the back of the net is.
“Bolton are a massive club with huge aspirations of getting back to where they should be and I just want to help them, the manager has been brilliant with me since I walked through the door and I think he really believes in me.”