Martin O’Neill named a typically large Republic of Ireland squad to face Mexico, Uruguay and Austria in the coming weeks – but there were still a few omissions that have not gone down well.
Top of that list seems to be Cork City striker Sean Maguire who, despite being in a rich vein of form for his club this season, has been overlooked for the 37-man squad that will travel to New Jersey in less than a fortnight before returning to continue their qualifying campaign for the World Cup.
Speaking to Pundit Arena’s Irish football podcast the Mixer, Galway United manager Shane Keegan, whose side came up against Maguire and City last weekend, feels that there would have been no negatives to taking Maguire for the friendlies at least, especially given the fact that there were no limits on O’Neill’s allowed squad size.
The pair know each other from Keegan’s days as head of youth development in the Kilkenny District League, and the former Wexford Youths manager would love to have seen Maguire’s form rewarded with international recognition.
“No doubt I’d have absolutely loved to have seen Sean get called up. He’s a fella I still have a decent relationship with, we’d be texting on and off around events and that.
“I don’t think he can do a whole lot more at the moment in terms of putting himself in the shop window. Just looking at quotes yesterday Martin [O’Neill] felt that there was still a few players in front of him in the pecking order, but I don’t know when the squad size is unlimited.
“If it’s a case of you have to name a 22-man squad and naming Sean and somebody else is missing out, well then I can see there’s only so many spots, but when it is unlimited I don’t really see what the negatives could have been in naming Sean for it.
“But look hopefully Sean will keep bainging in goals (just not against us) and he might get that call-up again all going well shortly.”
Keegan also feels that perhaps the form of Ryan Manning should perhaps be receiving more attention. The 20-year-old, formerly of Galway United, has enjoyed something of a breakout season at Queens Park Rangers, earning rave reviews and staking a claim for a place in Ian Holloway’s starting eleven since making his debut last December.
“Being where I am at the moment, another one I’d throw out there, Galway at the moment has taken massive pride in what Ryan Manning has been doing over with QPR.
“I thought there’d be a real, real chance of Ryan being named in it, considering there’s a couple of friendlies coming up and as I said considering there is no limit as Martin has shown with his really big squads.”
For more on Shane’s take on the Ireland squad, as well as his thoughts on Galway United’s season so far and the dual responsibility of managing a League of Ireland side while studying to obtain a Masters degree, check out the latest episode of the Mixer in the link below.