Daryl Horgan and Andy Boyle participated in their first Ireland press conference today.
Horgan and Boyle confirmed that Stephen Kenny was the first to tell each of them that they'd been selected in the 28 man squad on Monday morning.
Roy Keane said at his press conference earlier today that Horgan and Boyle had both been selected on merit. Though, these statements were obviously overshadowed by his swipe at Ronald Koeman and Everton.
First off, they were asked about the significance of their call-up to the League. Horgan suggested that it might encourage younger players to remain in the League in the short while and get their foot in the door that way.
"You'd like to think so. You'd like to think the League will get more recognition from it. I suppose in the sense it's been in the doldrums for a while. Struggling for attendances and what not but I suppose the fact that players are being called up and being watched by the international management is definitely a huge thing. It might make young players maybe decide to stay in the League and get a foot in that way rather than going to England and hopefully the League might improve.
Horgan also responded to suggestions that Newcastle were interested in him and talked more generally about the allure of a move to England. Ultimately, he said he would have to consider the possibility of a move abroad.
Unfortunately, financially, you're never going to retire off playing in Ireland whereas you could if you move and play abroad. I suppose you have to weigh up every offer that comes your way. At the moment there's none.
I try to say out of it as much as you possibly can. You know I'm a Dundalk player, I'm very happy at Dundalk but look if an offer does come from somewhere I'd have to consider it, especially if it came from a massive club like Newcastle.
They were asked about the number of current and past players for Ireland who began their careers in the League of Ireland, even if they didn't break into the squad while playing club football in Ireland.
Horgan made the very interesting point that if they did upsticks and move to England and landed in the Championship, it's highly unlikely that they would even get to the level Dundalk are currently at, playing against sides like Zenit in the group phase of the Europa League.
I mean, the level we're playing at the minute in the Europa League, you know, if you go to England and play in the Championship, it's very unlikely that you will play at that level again. I think we've shown as a team at Dundalk that we can compete at a high level and that there is a lot of quality in the League of Ireland. Obviously I think there's six or seven more (ex)League of Ireland players in the squad as well.
Boyle added that it was important that the League of Ireland build on the success of Dundalk this year so that these aren't isolated events.
We don't want it to be a flash in the pan. We want to make sure for any League of Ireland team that we're challenging in Europe every year and we can definitely compete at that level. We don't want it happening that it's just a one-off year. You have to progress three, four years in a row. And that will give the League a platform to improve all the time.
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