Eamon Zayed PFAI Players' Player of the Year
|Full name||Eamon Zayed|
|Date of birth||4 October 1983 (1983-10-04)|
|Place of birth||Dublin, Ireland|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|2004||→ Crewe Alexandra (Loan)||0||(0)|
|2005||→ Aalesunds (Loan)||1||(0)|
|2003–2004||Republic of Ireland U21||7||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 2 February 2012.
† Appearances (Goals).‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22 December 2011
Eamon Zayed (Arabic: أیمن زاید; born 4 October 1983) is an Irish born footballer of Libyan descent who plays for Persepolis in the Iran Pro League. He also writes a weekly column on League of Ireland website, extratime.ie.
Zayed started his career with Broadford Rovers before moving to St. Joseph's Boys AFC, based in Sallynoggin, Dublin. While with the club, Zayed was selected at U-16 and U-17 levels for both the Leinster Schoolboys and Dublin teams, and was on the Leinster Schools team at U-17. In two years at Leicester City, he played for their youth (U-18), U-19 and Reserve sides. He then returned to Ireland after Leicester's relegation from the English Premiership in 2002.
Senior club career
He joined Bray Wanderers and after impressing in the Under-21s, Zayed soon graduated to the senior team making his League of Ireland debut on the 18th of October 2002 at the Carlisle Grounds. He scored the fastest hat-trick ever by a Bray Wanderers player against Dundalk in 2003 within a nine-minute spell from the 7th to the 16th minute.
Zayed signed for Crewe Alexandra in February 2004 on loan, but returned to Bray in May without having made a first team appearance at Gresty Road.
Zayed was the PFAI Young Player of the Year for 2003. He represented the Eircom League Under-21s in a four nations tournament in Scotland in May 2004 and earned his second U-21 international cap against Scotland in May 2004 in Galway.
Zayed signed for Drogheda United in July 2006 on a two and a half year full time contract, and scored on his debut on 7 July. His first of 5 goals in the Europa League came in a 1-1 draw with IK Start in August 2006. The following season he scored at A.C. Libertas. His third Drogheda goal in European competition came against Helsingborgs IF. He was a key part of the Drogheda team that won their first League of Ireland title in 2007 and finished as their top scorer]
In the midst of great financial uncertainty at Drogheda at the end of the 2008 season, Zayed was released from his contract. He went on trial at Incheon United in the K-League, but eventually decided to remain in Ireland and moved to Sporting Fingal in January 2009. He scored twice against his former club Bray in Fingal's 4-2 FAI Cup semi-final victory in October 2009. He also scored twice against C.S. Marítimo in July 2010 in Sporting Fingal's European debut. He was released by Sporting Fingal at the end of the 2010 season. He was set to sign for Al Ahly in the Libyan Premier League, but the transfer was blocked following the introduction of a new rule preventing foreign-born Libyan internationals under the age of 30 from playing in the league.
He joined Derry City in January 2011 on a free transfer, signing a one year contract. In his first season at Derry, Zayed finished as the league's top scorer with 23 goals, helping the club to European qualification and gaining himself a place in the Premier Division team of the season. He also won the PFAI Players' Player of the Year award.
On 23 December 2011, Zayed signed a 6-month contract with Iran Pro League side, Persepolis. He will wear the number 12. He Scored his first goal in Persepolis Jersey on 81st minute of Tehran derby which he added two more goals to complete his Hat-trick and give his team dramatic comeback from 2–0 down to 3–2 win.
Zayed was eligible to play international football for Ireland, Tunisia, as a result of his father, and Libya, as a result of his grandparents, however he chose to begin his international career with Ireland. Zayed made his international debut for the Irish U-20s against South Korea in January 2003 in a pre-World Cup tournament and followed up with two goals against UAE two days later in a 3-2 win for Ireland. He made his U-21 debut for Ireland against Poland in a 5-1 away win in August 2003. Zayed played in all four of Ireland's games in the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship, held in United Arab Emirates, starting two and making two appearances as a substitute. Following the tournament, he was contacted by both the Tunisian and Libyan FAs with a view to declaring for either, however, Zayed declined as he wanted to pursue his dream of representing Ireland at senior level.
With no further caps at underage level for Ireland, and the chances of him receiving any senior caps looking slim, Zayed declared for Libya in October 2010. He received his first call up to the Libyan national team from Brazilian coach, Marcos Paquetá, for an African Cup of Nations qualifier against Zambia in the same month. He made his debut a few weeks later in a friendly against Niger. After impressing on his debut, Zayed was called up to Libya's 23-man training squad for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in November 2011. He went on to play in the 2011 Pan Arab Games in Doha, Qatar, gaining three caps against Sudan, Palestine and Jordan.[
- League of Ireland: 1
- Setanta Sports Cup: 1
- FAI Cup: 1
- League of Ireland Cup: 1
- PFAI Young Player of the Year: 1
- PFAI Players' Player of the Year: 1
- League of Ireland Top goalscorers: 1