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Five Irish Players In Danger Of Becoming Forgotten Men

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Many Irish players in the past have drifted off the radar after promising starts to their career.

We track five players who are in danger of joining that list given their recent struggles on the domestic front.

Tommie Hoban (Watford)

Despite over 50 appearances for his hometown club, former Ireland u-21 captain Tommie Hoban has been out of the scene at the London side.

Once one of the highest rated young defenders in the Championship, Watford’s promotion seems to have been Hoban’ only downfall with the club splashing out on defenders instead of showing loyalty to the youngster.

He impressed at Blackburn during a loan spell and would have been shipped out to QPR only for a knee injury. A huge talent who could go to waste due to a lack of trust by his club and injury.


Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff City)

Cardiff City man Pilkington made waves in the Premier League with Norwich prior to their relegation in 2014.

A technically gifted winger capable of scoring long-range screamers of both feet, Pilkington’s Ireland career should consist of more than nine caps, especially given the quality he showed in his limited time in green.

He has impressed for Cardiff but has found himself in and out of the team under Neil Warnock and compiled with consistent injuries is nearly completely out of the Ireland reckoning.

Another currently out injured and at 29 it is a shame he was not utilised more by Ireland.


Darron Gibson (Sunderland)

Already referred to by some as a forgotten man following years of misfortunate injuries.

Finally bit the bullet and left Everton in January but has struggled to break into a struggling Sunderland side since their return to the Championship.

One of the few available Irish players to Martin O’Neill who has Champions League experience but it seems his international career is certainly a long shot given Ireland depth in central midfield.


Sean Kavanagh (Fulham)

Kavanagh broke into the first team at Craven Cottage as a youngster and looked destined for big things. An attack-minded left back by trade, he was tipped for an Ireland call-up during his breakthrough season in 2014.

Shone at u-21 level and with his club but suddenly dropped out of the reckoning before he was loaned out to Mansfield and Hartlepool, both of which were underwhelming experiences for the Dubliner.

Struggling to re-establish himself at Fulham and has been overtaken by Ryan Sessengon in the pecking order.


Jack Byrne (Oldham Athletic – on loan from Wigan Athletic)

Thankfully, there is still plenty of time on the promising youngster’s side.

Mysteriously flopped at Blackburn despite shining in some early appearances before being dropped by Owen Coyle.

UEFA Under 21 EURO 2017 Qualifier, RSC, Waterford 7/10/2016 Republic of Ireland vs Serbia Ireland's Jack Byrne Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
INPHO/Donall Farmer

Perhaps poorly advised to join Wigan but is thankfully enjoying a fruitful spell with Oldham, thriving in a deeper midfield position than he is used to.

Doing everything right to resurrect his career but his next move could determine whether or not he moves off the radar.

Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena

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Author: Nick Menezes

Nick is a soccer, GAA and rugby fanatic who has a worrying obsession with the Irish football team. His articles focus on Irish football and he also writes some light-hearted pieces, particularly quirky starting XIs.