With the Football League in England drawing to a close for another season, a number of players will be left without a club come the summer. Among those free agents are three former big name League of Ireland players.
Pat Hoban, Paul Keegan and Dave Mooney have all been let go by their clubs and will be hoping to rapidly find employment as soon as possible.
All three caught the eye whilst playing in the League of Ireland and a move back home may not be the worst scenario.
Here we take a look at potential moves for each of the league’s former stars.
3. Pat Hoban
Hoban has spent the last three years in England, most recently with Mansfield Town in the Conference, where he only netted four league goals after joining from Oxford United at the start of the season. Hoban’s former employers Dundalk enjoyed a European odyssey while the Galwegian has struggled in non-league football.
However, there is no doubting the ability that Hoban still possesses and at only 25 still has plenty of time to kickstart his career. He scored 34 league goals for Dundalk and was one of the League of Ireland’s most instinctive goalscorers. He would be a welcome and capable addition as Dundalk enter into the Champions League qualifiers in the summer.
However, other teams could be sniffing around for his services both in Ireland and England. Hoban also had trials in Scotland while at Dundalk with a move to the SPL also an alternative option.
2. Paul Keegan
Veteran Keegan enjoyed spells at Drogheda United and Bohemians, where he established himself as one of the hard men of Irish football, capable of controlling games while he collected a league title with both clubs. Doncaster Rovers realised his talent and signed Keegan in 2011. He has gone on to make over 100 appearances for Rovers, playing in the Championship, League One and League Two with the club.
He would be a prised signing for any League of Ireland club given his experience and technical ability. His former sides could both do with an experienced leader in their ranks with Bohs and Drogs just above the relegation zone. However, a higher placed team could come calling for Keegan who, at 32, still has plenty to offer.
1. Dave Mooney
Former League of Ireland goalscoring machine Dave Mooney is available having departed Southend United. The 32-year-old has spent just under a decade in England and was tipped for a full Ireland cap in the past. Formerly of Shamrock Rovers, Longford Town and Cork City, Mooney could be seeking a move back home after netting close to 70 goals in England.
Mooney is still an instinctive finisher and difficult to deal with in the air. His former sides, Rovers and Cork, are both ambitious and could use his experience. With Cork looking comfortable at the top and hoping to improve on last year’s impressive European performances, Mooney could make a return to Turner’s Cross if the interest was to work both ways.
Mooney’s record in England has been impressive and will be known to clubs around the lower leagues of England. Therefore, he may be more likely to wait it out for a deal in England rather than returning home but his availability is something that could be explored by Irish clubs.
Nick Menezes, Pundit Arena
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