LUCA Connell is pleased with his two stunning long-range strikes this season but believes competition will be fierce for Barnsley’s goal of the season.

The 21-year-old midfielder found the top right corner from outside the box after 25 seconds of the 3-1 win at Port Vale on Tuesday.

That followed his strike from a similar distance at Peterborough in December.

Connell told the Chronicle: “I have scored two alright ones but we have had some good goals.

“Benno (Josh Benson) had a good one and Nors (James Norwood) with the overhead kick.

“It was similar to Peterborough.

“As soon as I saw it fall for me I thought: ‘just control it, relax and hit the target.’ Fortunately it went in.

“I think this one is my favourite of the two because of the way it hit the net.

“I want to get my first one at Oakwell now and hopefully it will come soon.”

Connell also claimed an assist in midweek, when his left-wing free-kick was headed home by Liam Kitching.

It was a third set piece goal in three games after the Reds struggled to score them earlier in the season.

“We work on it. Pato (assistant Martin Paterson) has got us working on it a lot. It’s good to see it pay off finally and hopefully we get more goals like that.”

Connell is enjoying being a regular in Barnsley’s League One side having signed from Celtic who had loaned him out to Queen’s Park.

“It’s good. When I came I just wanted minutes and to put myself back in English football. Thanks to the gaffer for trusting me.”

Barnsley are sixth in the table, with a series of games over the next six weeks against sides also fighting for promotion.

“It’s going to be tight down to the end. We’ll focus on ourselves and go into every game looking for three points. Hopefully we can catch the teams above as well.

“We play a lot of those teams and we have to win those games if we want to overtake the other teams.”

Connell has often played in a midfield three with Adam Phillips and Herbie Kane but new signing Jon Russell is also now in contention.

“There’s fighting for positions now. That’s what any team wants. You have to be good in training.”