It's been a whirlwind 2017 for Sean Maguire.
The Preston North End striker began the League of Ireland season as one of the most in-form strikers in any top-tier league in Europe.
Maguire scored 20 goals in 21 games in the Premier Division, before making the move to Deepdale. Although his goal-scoring has understandably not been as proficient, his two goals in ten league appearances has been enough to force his way into the Republic of Ireland squad.
The 23-year-old had been expected to take time to settle into life in The Championship, but he forced his way into Alex Neil's side without the help of a pre-season at the club.
Speaking to The Guardian ahead of a potential Ireland debut in the coming days against either Moldova or Wales, Maguire admitted the physicality of the English second-tier has been what he has noticed most since leaving Cork City.
I’ve only been here for three months but I feel I’ve improved in so many ways. It’s very different [to the League of Ireland] in many ways. The main one is probably physically. You’re coming up against guys who are 6ft 2in and built like machines.
If you take that second or third touch, they’re going to go through you. Mentally, as well, going into the latter stages of the game, with 20-30 minutes to go, you really have to keep your concentration. If you lose the ball you’re going to get punished – even if you’re playing up front or out on the wing you can find that you end up conceding.
Maguire's promotion to the Ireland squad follows closely after the likes of Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan made their debuts so soon after leaving the League of Ireland. Although he has moved on from Cork, their fans will be eager to succeed in another shade of green.