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Do you agree with our Irish team of the season?

Sheffield United’s John Egan and others who have impressed over the course of the 2019-20 campaign.

John Egan celebrates scoring.
John Egan celebrates scoring.
Image: Clive Brunskill/NMC Pool/PA Wire

Updated Jul 25th 2020, 12:04 PM

N.B. We’ve restricted this list to Irish players plying their trade in England.

Kieran O’Hara: With Darren Randolph largely consigned to the bench at West Ham, and youngsters like Mark Travers and Caoimhín Kelleher not seeing much first-team action at Bournemouth and Liverpool, competition isn’t especially stiff in this position. However, O’Hara enjoyed a decent season, making 42 appearances in all competitions for League One side Burton Albion. He is currently a free agent, however, after recently being released by parent club Manchester United.

Matt Doherty: Would have been many people’s choice as the standout Irish player last season, Doherty had a similarly impressive campaign this year, scoring seven goals in 47 appearances, amid Wolves’ European tilt.

Enda Stevens: Tipped by some critics to get relegated at the start of the season, Sheffield United have enjoyed an outstanding campaign. And former Shamrock Rovers defender Stevens has played a big part, making 39 appearances in all competitions in the left wing-back spot.

John Egan: Like Stevens, another major success story in his first season playing in the Premier League. The 27-year-old Cork-born centre-back has been a regular part of a defence that has conceded just 36 goals — only two teams, Man City and Liverpool, have a superior record.

Dara O’Shea: Primarily regarded as a centre-back, O’Shea has actually been operating at full-back with West Brom for much of this season. However, for the purpose of this exercise, we have inserted him into his preferred position. The 21-year-old defender established himself at the Baggies this season — making 21 appearances in all competitions, all bar one of which was from his Championship debut against Brentford on 21 December onwards — and was a part of a successful campaign that saw them promoted to the Premier League. Coach Slaven Bilic recently summed up how highly he is regarded at the club, saying: “He is the present and future of West Brom.” 

Jayson Molumby: An energetic presence in midfield with good technical ability to boot, from Cappoquin in Waterford, the 20-year-old made 40 appearances in all competitions for a Millwall side that narrowly missed out on a play-off spot. He has regularly impressed for Ireland U21s too, and is a player that Stephen Kenny will likely earmark as a future senior international.

Jason Knight: Another gifted young midfielder, 19-year-old Dubliner Knight has made 35 appearances in all competitions for Championship outfit Derby. That’s a highly impressive tally in his debut season at senior level.

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Conor Hourihane: It’s been a pretty remarkable journey for the 29-year-old from Bandon. After being released by Sunderland as a youngster, he spent time in all three lower tiers of English football before finally reaching the Premier League this year. How good a season it will turn out to be very much depends on whether Villa stay up on Sunday, but regardless, Hourihane has played a big part in the campaign, with three goals and five assists in 26 Premier League appearances.

Eoin Doyle: We’ve generally favoured players operating in the Premier League and Championship for this list, but Eoin Doyle’s exploits have been impossible to ignore. He scored 25 goals in 36 appearances for both Bradford and Swindon in League Two, helping the latter gain promotion, before sealing a move to Bolton Wanderers

David McGoldrick: An integral part of Sheffield United’s rise, McGoldrick may not have been prolific in terms of goals, but he was crucial to the way the Blades played. He scored four times in 29 appearances in all competitions for Chris Wilder’s men, and finally got the break his excellent Premier League campaign deserved, scoring twice in a memorable 3-0 win over Chelsea earlier this month.

Callum Robinson: Robinson had a difficult start to the season, as he struggled to establish himself following a summer move to Sheffield United, making just nine Premier League starts for the Blades. A loan switch in January proved fruitful, however, as he scored three goals 16 appearances for a West Brom side that earned promotion to the Premier League.

433

Subs: Seamus Coleman, Conor Masterson, Darragh Lenihan, Nathan Collins, Ryan Manning, James McCarthy, Harry Arter, Kieran Sadlier, Aaron Connolly, Michael Obafemi, Ronan Curtis, Scott Hogan, James Collins.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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