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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Horgan: Five or six LOI players good enough to play for Ireland

The winger has had a special few years at Oriel Park.

Dundalk winger Daryl Horgan.
Dundalk winger Daryl Horgan.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

DUNDALK WINGER DARYL Horgan believes that there are”five or six” players in the League of Ireland who would be good enough to play for the Republic of Ireland.

Horgan has been in impressive form for Stephen Kenny’s side this season, starring in the Champions League and Europa League, and chipping in with crucial goals as they compete for SSE Airtricity Premier Division and FAI Cup honours.

There has been a clamour for Martin O’Neill to include the 24-year-old in his Ireland squad and the Boys in Green boss revealed that if Dundalk’s schedule was not so tight, he would be in the panel.

Horgan admitted that it would be “fantastic” to be included, but also stressed that more SSE Airtricity League players have what it takes to compete on the international stage.

“If I can do well in that maybe Martin might decide to bring me into the squad,” Horgan told Newstalk’s ‘Off the Ball‘.

“At this moment in time, I’m not in the squad, but it’d be fantastic for myself and to be honest with you, I think Martin, it’s just not me he’s looking at. I think there’s definitely four or five or six players in the league he could bring in.”

The Galway native added: ”I suppose the school of thought was you have to be away [in Britain], but maybe at this stage now, the fact that ourselves and Cork have done well in Europe and proved it against internationals and big players from big countries, [it shows] that maybe there is quality in the league and players are able to make that step up.”

Dundalk’s free-scoring talisman last season, Richie Towell, moved to Championship side Brighton and Hove Albion, but has struggled for game time since making the switch to Britain.

A number of British clubs were also keen on Horgan, but, despite trials with clubs such as Peterborough United and Barnsley, he opted to remain at Oriel Park, where he has since experienced high-level Champions League encounters and is now competing in the Europa League.

“To be honest, it’s probably one of the biggest lessons I could ever have had,” Horgan said, reflecting on his trials in England.

“I’ve got to play constantly here in the first team and in the Europa League and winning leagues. It’s been special the last couple of years.

“I thought they went well, but a couple of weeks after both trials, managers were sacked.

“It’s so cut-throat. You could easily end up signing for a club and the manager could be sacked two days later, another fella might come in and not fancy you, so it was probably a blessing.”

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