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Daryl Horgan Thrilled To Get A Second Chance To Shine For Ireland

Daryl Horgan Thrilled To Get A Second Chance To Shine For Ireland
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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Ireland struggled up front during Sunday's 0-0 draw with Wales, but one of the major plusses was the impact that Daryl Horgan made after being introduced off the bench.

The 28-year old hasn't really been a feature of Irish squads in recent times. Having made six international appearances in just over 18 months in 2017 and 2018, the winger failed to feature under Mick McCarthy.

While he was not originally part of Stephen Kenny's plans for this international window, circumstances meant that he would receive a late call-up. Despite only playing around 15 minutes against the Welsh, it's fair to say that he took his opportunity.

Horgan had a major impact on the game, creating a couple of chances for his teammates and having one or two of his own. Not bad for a man making his first international appearance in over two years.

Speaking to members of the media ahead of the clash against Finland, the player explained how he felt after getting called into the squad, and that he had spent the last couple of years viewing the team through the eyes of a supporter.

Surprising, in a way. Obviously I was delighted to get the call.

It was late after the Slovakia game, that if I could get in tomorrow it would be brilliant. It wasn’t something I was really expecting but every time you get the chance to join up with your country is a massive, massive honour and something I’d never turn down...

Luckily, I was ready to go but I hadn’t planned on going as I had stuff with the family to do in England. But the option came up and I went for it. Delighted to get the call and to get another cap is incredible...

[He watched Ireland games] like a fan, really. Just wanting them to do well. Obviously once you’ve had a taste of it you want to be involved all the time so that was always in the back of my mind, to try and play and perform to try and get into the set-up.

To get the opportunity today was brilliant. It’s about taking it game-by-game for me now, but the side were pretty successful under Mick and the manager is now trying to implement a different style so it’s not going to come overnight.


It probably helped that Horgan was very aware of what Kenny wants from his players.

He spent three years under his tutelage at Dundalk, lighting up the League of Ireland and earning a move to Preston North End in the process.

That familiarity with Kenny's system was something he was able to use to his advantage, although the Galway native admitted that Damien Duff also had an influence.


It obviously helps. This is a new team, he has a similar enough way of playing but with a few differences.

I know the manager, I played under him before and he was the one to instil belief in me, so that’s a big plus.

The staff have been excellent, obviously we’ve only been in a couple of days. I spoke to Duff yesterday [Saturday] and he outlined what he wanted me to do very, very clearly. When you have that clarity going on to the pitch it’s a big, big help.

Of course, current circumstances ensure that this is no regular Ireland camp.

Horgan's call-up was prompted by Covid-19 guidelines, with Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah forced to leave the camp after they were deemed close contacts of an FAI staff member that tested positive for the virus, although this turned out to be a false-positive.


Despite the restriction in place inside the Ireland camp, Horgan said the players remain in good spirits. After all, they are in the same situation as everybody else.

You just have to follow guidelines like everyone in the world at the minute. Football is high-profile so it gets a lot of coverage, but it’s the same in every workplace.

The mood has been good, me and Seani [Maguire] got in [Saturday] but we were kept apart from the boys for the majority of the time until the results came back...

There’s no difference between football and the rest of the world. Everyone is a little on edge with Covid.

You don’t know, you could have been in contact with someone at the airport, with someone who went to school with your kids, it’s just a strange time for everyone. I’m chatting to you on a laptop, you know?

So you just have to follow the guidelines and keep as right as you possibly can.


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