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Six League Of Ireland Players Who Could Soon Make Mick McCarthy's Squad

Six League Of Ireland Players Who Could Soon Make Mick McCarthy's Squad
Maurice Brosnan
By Maurice Brosnan
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Jack Bryne's inclusion in the recent Republic of Ireland squad was a welcomed boost for the national league and its many merits.

A player who struggled to find security in England returned to Dublin and has thrived in Stephen Bradley's outfit. Byrne thanked Shamrock Rovers when discussing his recent call-up and it hints at a pathway for many other prospects who might consider returning to regain confidence or form.

Yet he is not the only domestic-based player capable of forcing his way into Mick McCarthy's consideration. The likelihood is that every player listed here will first move abroad before receiving an inclusion, but it doesn't have to be that way.

International football demands a certain level of technical standard, albeit that may have been lacking in recent Republic of Ireland showings. There are several players who have demonstrated early showings of that technical ability whilst also competing in adult football.

Daire O'Connor - Cork City

Anyone who watched the Cork midfielder's performance in Richmond Park on the opening day of the league will testify to the exceptional ability the former UCD man demonstrated. O'Connor is currently with Stephen Kenny's U21s but has enough technical ability to thrive on bigger stages. Dubbed the 'Irish Messi' by Pat Dolan, McCarthy has complimented O'Connor already this year.

Jamie Lennon - St Patrick's Athletic 


If the visiting side's bright spark was O'Connor that night, for St. Patrick's Athletic their stand-out performer was youngster Jamie Lennon. Perhaps fond of one too many touches but always shows a willingness to get on the ball that is to be applauded.

Michael Duffy - Dundalk 

On last season's form, the Dundalk winger was certainly in consideration had his international allegiance been processed. Martin O'Neill namedropped Duffy on more than one occasion. Last year’s PFAI Player of the Year pulled off a trademark brilliant goal to win Dundalk the game against UCD last month.


Trevor Clarke - Shamrock Rovers 

Shamrock Rovers badly missed Clarke last season. His 2017 year attracted interest from Southampton but a devasting cruciate injury curtailed his development. The defender is now back in action and also included in the U21 squad. Stephen Bradley recently promised the best is yet to come from Clarke, something that should delight the Tallaght Stadium faithful.

Neil Farrugia - UCD 

He is also eligible for France, Spain and Malta. Farrugia is a big presence and has already declared interest in Ireland despite being approached by Malta. The winger hasn't played a huge amount of football due to injuries but does have star potential. UCD boss Collie O'Neill has confirmed that several clubs, including QPR, have already offered big money but he wants to finish his education. Stephen Kenny also highly rates him.

Darragh Leahy - Bohemians  

It's not that long ago that the full-back walked out on his contract with Coventry to return to Ireland. Like Jack Bryne, many questioned was it the right choice. He's now a regular with Bohemians, made the PFAI team of the year and was recently rewarded with a call-up to Stephen Kenny's U21s.


Leahy is comfortable on the ball and can play at left-back, a position Ireland are weaker in than on the right.

A new era for Irish football looms, with the established difficulty in unearthing talent in the UK and the declining scouting network, the Airtricity League is becoming more important than ever.

SEE ALSO: 'It’s Been A Mad Couple Of Days And I’m Still Trying To Get My Head Around It'


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