heroes and villains

5 Irish winners and losers in the Championship this season

Wes Hoolahan, James McClean and other internationals feature in our list.

5 Irish players who have had a memorable season in the Championship

1. Wes Hoolahan

Soccer - Sky Bet League Championship - Charlton Athletic v Norwich City - The Valley EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

Having looked surplus to requirements at Carrow Road after Norwich were relegated from the Premier League last season, the 32-year-old Dubliner regained his place in the team this year, winning plenty of admirers in the process with a series of accomplished performances that have helped Norwich secure a spot in the playoffs.

2. Harry Arter

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - AFC Bournemouth v Wolverhampton Wanderers - Dean Court John Walton John Walton

Arter has been one of the driving forces that have enabled Bournemouth to effectively secure promotion, simultaneously chipping in with eight goals in 42 appearances.

3. Richard Keogh

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Blackpool v Derby County - Bloomfield Road Barrington Coombs Barrington Coombs

The centre-back, who also made his competitive debut for Ireland in the Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland last November, has been a key part of the Derby team that pushed for promotion, as reflected by his selection in the Championship Team of the Year.

4. Daryl Murphy

Soccer - Sky Bet League Championship - Fulham v Ipswich Town - Craven Cottage Scott Heavey Scott Heavey

Having been deployed on the wing at previous clubs, Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy finally gave Murphy an opportunity as a striker, and he was duly rewarded, with the Waterford native almost certain to be the Championship’s top scorer, having managed 25 goals in total this campaign.

5. Keiren Westwood

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Sheffield Wednesday v Leeds United - Hillsborough EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

Westwood has impressed in goals for Sheffield Wednesday, being named in the Championship Team of the Year and even getting linked with a Liverpool move back in January.

5 who haven’t

1. James McClean

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Bolton Wanderers v Wigan Athletic - Macron Stadium EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

A difficult season for McClean, who was a Premier League player just the season before last. Despite impressing for Ireland against Poland and Germany, he could be playing in League One next year, as he was part of the Wigan side that suffered relegation.

2. Darren O’Dea

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Blackpool v Reading - Bloomfield Road PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

The 28-year-old ex-Celtic defender couldn’t prevent Blackpool’s slide into League One, as they were relegated well before the season’s end.

3. Keith Andrews

Soccer - Sky Bet League One - Bradford City v MK Dons - Coral Windows Stadium EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

Didn’t get a look in at parent club Bolton and failed to make an impact when on loan at Watford, before dropping down a division to represent MK Dons.

4. Kevin Doyle

Soccer - npower Football League Championship - Brighton and Hove Albion v Wolverhampton Wanderers - AMEX Stadium PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Had virtually no game time during a loan move to Crystal Palace and his appearances were similarly sporadic when he returned to parent club Wolves. Doyle at least has an imminent move to MLS side Colorado Rapids to look forward to in the summer.

5. David Forde

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Blackburn Rovers v Millwall - Ewood Park PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

Conceded 72 goals as Millwall suffered the agony of relegation and was ostensibly made to pay at international level, as Shay Given was preferred in goal for the vital Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland.

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