With 18 goals to his name domestically, and having just broken Cork City’s European goalscoring record, Sean Maguire has unsurprisingly been singled out as the League of Ireland’s brightest shining star at present.
These performances have not gone unnoticed by the Republic of Ireland coaching staff with some complimentary comments being directed his way, but up until now Maguire has yet to receive a call-up. This is despite the Boys in Green having a chronic shortage of strikers in goalscoring form at the moment.
After netting a hat-trick for the Rebel Army on Thursday night in their 4-2 victory over Levadia Tallinn (6-2 on aggregate) in the Europa League first qualifying round clamour for his inclusion in the Ireland set-up is set to only grow stronger.
Speaking to the media after guiding the Leesiders to a crucial European win, and ahead of his move to Preston later this month, a switch which will surely lead to an international call-up, Maguire had a message for Ireland boss Martin O’Neill.
“My first priority is to do well for Cork City and when I go over to Preston it will be to impress this new manager and get into the team straight away.
“Then I’ll look ahead to maybe an Irish cap one day. Obviously it’s disappointing not getting called up but I’m not really too pushed on it. I know one day that I will put on the Irish jersey and I know I’ll show them how good I am.”
Fans of the Irish team and the League of Ireland have too been disappointed by the ex-West Ham man’s exclusion up to this point, despite performing admirably against some top opposition during his spell in Cork, including Genk of Belgium in last season’s European campaign, but it now seems to be only a matter of time before we see the 23-year-old wear the green of Ireland with his move to the Championship a matter of weeks away.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena