SEAN MAGUIRE IS fully focused on steering Cork City to their first Premier Division title in 12 years, but the striker admits that it can be challenging to ignore talk of international call-ups and interest from clubs abroad.
A report in today’s Irish Daily Star suggests that Maguire is set to be included in the Republic of Ireland squad to play Uruguay in a friendly at the Aviva Stadium on 4 June, but that he won’t travel to New Jersey for the fixture with Mexico three days earlier due to Cork City’s league game against Dundalk at Oriel Park on 2 June.
As well as being tipped for an international call-up, Maguire has regularly been linked with a move abroad after starting the 2017 season with eight goals in as many games. Ignoring all the attention isn’t always easy, the 22-year-old admits.
Speaking this afternoon to reporters in Bishopstown, including RedFM’s Ruairi O’Hagan, Maguire said: “It’s hard not to when you go into the papers and you look on your Twitter page. Things always pop up. It’s very flattering, reports of myself getting called up to the Irish team. But I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing.
“I’m improving, I’m learning in every game and I think that’s a credit to my team-mates. Obviously I’m not going to get carried away from scoring eight goals in eight games. There’s a lot of improvement in my game, not only in the team’s game. We have two very tough games coming up against Bohs and Pat’s away so I think I’ll be fully focused on that.”
Maguire, whose goals have helped Cork City to open up a six-point lead at the top of the table, is open to a return to England, having previously been on the books at West Ham as well as having a loan spell at Accrington Stanley. But in the meantime he’s keen to be part of a successful season with City, to whom he’s contracted until the end of the year.
“My ambition is to play at the highest level, if it’s in England or in Europe,” he said. “But that’s a long-term goal. My short-term goal is to do well for Cork City, do well for my team, and do the best for me. I’m fully focused on trying to win the league for Cork City, win the League Cup and retain the FAI Cup. That’s what I’m going to try and do.”
This afternoon, Maguire was named SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month for March, his first time receiving the award.
“I had a great season last season and I didn’t pick up any of these awards, so it’s great to start the season with it. It’s always great to get individual awards like this,” he said.
“I get the plaudits from scoring the goals but it’s been a team effort. I wouldn’t have been able to get this award without my team-mates, the manager and the staff, so I’d obviously like to thank them for this award.”