Trepidation still surrounds including any player from the League of Ireland in Ireland’s senior international set-up, but over the last number of months in particular calls have grown stronger for Cork City’s Sean Maguire to be included in Martin O’Neill’s squad.
With Ireland suffering from somewhat of a post-Robbie Keane era slump in terms of talent in and around the box, plenty of fans and pundits think a player who is scoring for fun on the domestic scene (eleven goals in 13 games) should at the very least be named in the 37-man squad.
With players like Kevin Doyle beyond their peak and realistically non-runners when it comes to a starting place in the team come the 2018 World Cup – should the Boys in Green qualify – it’s time to look to the future.
This point was perfectly summed up by Johnny McDonnell on RTÉ’s Soccer Republic on Monday night. Firstly discussing the fact that Doyle is over the hill now, McDonnell went on to point out that Maguire has come through the Irish pathway at underage level and should be next in line.
“I think Kevin has seen better days. He’s been a fantastic servant. Martin knows what Kevin can do and what he’s done. He might look at [Adam] Rooney now as well.
“For me, he doesn’t need to include him in the squad.
“He’s [Sean Maguire] has come through the pathway. He’s played with the under-21 international team too and scored goals there with Noel King’s under-21s so he should be next along the way.”
Watch below as Cork City legend Dave Barry and the former Drogheda United boss discuss the 23-year-old’s credentials.
— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) May 15, 2017
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena