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Scott Hogan Named In Martin O'Neill's 32 Man Squad For Moldova And Wales

Michael McCarthy
By Michael McCarthy
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Martin O'Neill hinted at it before the Georgia and Serbia games, but today's it's official that Aston Villa striker Scott Hogan has declared for the Republic of Ireland, having been named in Martin O'Neill's 32 man provisional squad for the crucial World Cup qualifiers with Moldova and Wales next week.

We were surprised in August when Martin O'Neill announced that Hogan was closer to the Irish squad than Preston's Sean Maguire given the amount of time he had been watching him. At the time, it was assumed Hogan declaring for Ireland was a dead issue.

I have met him and he’d like to come in.

I’m all on for chasing people but I need to see someone feeling ‘I want to come, I want to play, I want to try and make the grade at international level and play for us.

At the time, O'Neill suggested he was in the process of getting his paperwork sorted out, and today the Irish manager confirmed that this has been now fixed and he is available to play.

While there was initial sceptism as to his supposed change of heart, Hogan has always said he wanted a year of playing first team football injury free before thinking about international football. He recently told the Times:

When I first met Martin O’Neill I explained to him that I had had two years out with injuries and I said to him 'just let me get back playing, let me get a full season under my belt’. That is how it has panned out.

Then we got in touch with him. There was no issue with me saying I am waiting for this or I am going to do this. It was always that case and the manager knew that and was fine with it.

The first time we talked about Hogan, who has three Irish grandparents, declaring for Ireland was just prior to Euro 2016 when the Salford-born player was on a scoring hot streak for Brentford.

Hogan initially said that if Roy Keane, a childhood hero, came calling he would find it tough to turn him down.


After joining Brentford in 2014, the now 25 year old suffered two serious knee injuries which would prevent him from making any real impact until late in his second season at the club. He would score seven goals in seven games to end to 2015/16 and then went onto score 14 more in 25 appearances for the club the following season before Aston Villa came calling. He made the move to Villa Park in the January transfer window for a fee reported to be around £15 million.

Since then, his form has been up and down, with him currently out of the team which had been struggling in the The Championship.


His arrival in the squad comes at a good time for Ireland though, with a serious dearth of strikers out there.


Unfortunately, in not so positive news for Ireland, talisman Jonathan Walters will miss out the two huge games due to a knee injury.

Millwall striker and former U21 international, Aiden O'Brien is also a new call up to the squad, while Maguire is again part of the extended squad .

The entire 32 man squad is named below:



Martin O'Neill also addressed concerns for goalkeeper Kieren Westwood and Harry Arter, who are both carrying injuries, though are included in the squad.

James McCarthy and Jeff Hendrick both return to the squad after missing the previous games through injury.



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