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Dublin: 11°C Sunday 18 April 2021

'The adrenaline is still pumping through my body just thinking about it'

Sean Maguire has returned to Preston North End on a high after making his senior debut for Ireland.

SEAN MAGUIRE IS eager for another opportunity to represent his country after making a long-awaited Ireland debut against Moldova.

Maguire received a massive ovation from Irish fans at the Aviva Stadium when he replaced Shane Long in the closing stages of last Friday’s 2-0 win.

Sean Maguire enters the field to make his senior International debut Sean Maguire enters the pitch to make his senior Ireland debut against Moldova. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

The 23-year-old striker remained on the bench for the duration of Monday night’s thrilling 1-0 victory over Wales in Cardiff, but he returned to his club Preston North End yesterday on a high after his first experience of the senior Ireland set-up.

Maguire, who joined Preston from Cork City in July, told Preston’s official website: “It’s been a crazy couple of months since I joined Preston North End, from making my debut here to getting into the team, playing every week, playing in massive stadiums, obviously scoring my first goal and doing well in the league as well.

“Then obviously getting called up to the senior national team was a dream come true. It was one step closer to my dream of representing my country and I’m over the moon that it finally happened last Friday against Moldova.

“To soak up that atmosphere and for the crowd to be singing your name throughout the game, to even get on for just 10 or 15 minutes was a dream come true. The adrenaline is still pumping through my body just thinking about it. Now that I’ve got that first taste of international football I’m just hungry for more.”

Maguire will look to continue his good form when Preston — who are four points off the top of the Championship — travel to Craven Cottage on Saturday to play Fulham.

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The Kilkenny native will hope to be back in the Ireland squad for next month’s two-legged play-off against an opponent they’ll discover when the draw is made next Tuesday. The winners will book a place at next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Hull City v Preston North End - Sky Bet Championship - KCOM Stadium Maguire in possession for Preston North End against Hull City last month. Source: EMPICS Sport

“The Irish crowd gave me a big ovation and I’m thankful for that,” Maguire said. “We’ve made it to the play-offs and hopefully by this time next month I’ll be looking to play at a World Cup.”

He added: “We still have two games to go to make it to the World Cup finals. Even to be part of that squad over the past 10 days was amazing. The Moldova game was a big game, we got through that. A lot of people didn’t expect us to go to Wales and get the three points, which we did.

“It was amazing to even experience that from the bench. Celebrating like that in front of the fans was something I’ve been dreaming of since I started playing football. That’s the first taste of it. Hopefully I kick on from here.”

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Paul Dollery

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