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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 22 May, 2018
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7 lower-league Irish players to watch out for in the FA Cup this weekend

Daryl Horgan and others who could feature over the coming days.

1. Michael Doyle

Coventry City v Mansfield Town - Sky Bet League Two - Ricoh Arena Source: Barrington Coombs

At 36, Doyle is still going strong. The Dubliner is in his second stint at Coventry, featuring regularly for the team in League Two this season and also playing the full 90 minutes in their recent 2-1 defeat of Stoke in the FA Cup third round.

2. Corey Whelan

Morecambe v Liverpool XI  - Pre-Season Friendly - Globe Arena Source: EMPICS Sport

The 20-year-old defender has played three times for Yeovil since joining on loan from Liverpool at the start of the month, and could feature again as they take on Manchester United this evening. The Ireland U21 international is highly thought of at Liverpool, having captained their U23 side in addition to signing a new contract with the club last December.

3. Chris Forrester

Chelsea v Peterborough United - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Stamford Bridge Source: EMPICS Sport

The 25-year-old Dubliner has had a mixed time since joining League One outfit Peterborough from St Pat’s. He started off his career brilliantly, garnering Michael Carrick comparisons and being appointed skipper, before being stripped of the captaincy more recently. There was a period in the season where he wasn’t a guaranteed starter, but Forrester has been involved regularly of late for the side currently eighth in League One, playing the full 90 minutes in their 3-1 win over Aston Villa in the third round, while he could feature again as the Posh take on Leicester in Saturday’s early kick-off.

4. Liam Kelly

Huddersfield Town v Reading - Sky Bet Championship - Play Off - Final - Wembley Stadium Source: Nick Potts

One Irish player unlikely to be involved against Sheffield Wednesday tonight is Paul McShane, who is struggling with a hamstring injury, but Liam Kelly — who has been named in provisional Ireland senior squads before — is expected to feature. The young midfielder has made 24 appearances in all competitions for the Royals so far, including 90 minutes in their 3-0 third-round replay victory over Stevenage.

5. Padraig Amond

Newport County v Leeds United - Emirates FA Cup - Third Round - Rodney Parade Source: David Davies

Following their surprise win over Leeds in the last round, Newport are aiming for another upset as they host Tottenham at Rodney Parade. Former Shamrock Rovers and Sligo attacker Amond is one of three Irish players at the club along with Dundalk-born midfielder Emmanuel Osadebe (on loan from Cambridge) and defender Mark O’Brien. The 29-year-old has made 32 appearances in all competitions for the League Two side since joining from Hartlepool, scoring nine times during that period.

6. Daryl Horgan

Derby County v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship - Pride Park Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport

Horgan didn’t have the best of starts to the season at Preston as he saw his game time limited, but the winger appears to be enjoying better form and fortune of late. The 25-year-old was on target in the Lilywhites’ 5-1 win over Wycombe in the last round of the FA Cup and he is one of several Irish players that could feature against Sheffield United this weekend at Bramall Lane, while Dubliner Enda Stevens is among those in content to play for the Blades, who are currently sixth in the Championship.

7. Joe Rafferty 

Soccer - FA Cup - Fourth Round - Rochdale v Stoke City - Spotland Stadium Source: EMPICS Sport

Former Ireland underage defender Rafferty is expected to be part of Rochdale’s defence as they visit Millwall on Saturday. The 24-year-old has been a regular for the League One side this season, though fellow Irish players Keith Keane and Niall Canavan are out with long-term injuries. Meanwhile, for Millwall, Aiden O’Brien — who has scored four goals in his last three appearances — is also absent with an ankle injury.

Upcoming FA Cup fixtures (all games kick-off at 3pm unless stated otherwise):

Friday

Sheffield Wednesday v Reading (19.45)
Yeovil Town v Manchester United (19.55)

Saturday

Peterborough United v Leicester City (12.30)
Huddersfield Town v Birmingham City
Hull City v Nottingham Forest
Middlesbrough v Brighton
Millwall v Rochdale
Milton Keynes Dons v Coventry City
Notts County v Swansea City
Sheffield United v Preston North End
Southampton v Watford
Wigan Athletic v west Ham United
Newport County v Tottenham Hotspur (17.30)
Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion (19.45)

Sunday

Chelsea v Newcastle United (13.30)
Cardiff City v Manchester City (16.00)

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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