Mick Cooke shares bemusement at Sean Maguire Ireland omission

Cork City's prolific striker is not in the latest squad named by Martin O'Neill

BY Raf Diallo 18:36 Wednesday 17 May 2017, 18:36 17 May 2017

On Monday, Ireland manager Martin O'Neill named his latest squad for the upcoming friendlies and World Cup qualifier and one of the players absent was prolific Cork City striker Sean Maguire.

While a call up wasn't necessarily expected, there had been calls from commentators and observers for the 23 year old forward to be given a chance at international level, particularly in the friendly games.

On this week's Newstalk League of Ireland podcast, former midfielder Joe Gamble, who won two Ireland caps in 2007 while still with Cork City, explained that Maguire may have to make a return to England in order to earn recognition at international level.

Former Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke has been keen to see Maguire getting a chance and in his weekly chat with Newstalk.com, he shared his thoughts on the situation.

"He's playing with a football club that are playing in European football, on the back of two seasons where they were runners up in the league. They've won the cup," said Mick of Cork City.

"Now they've gone 13 games unbeaten. He's the leading goalscorer and just can't stop scoring. His all-round play is very good and was proven against Dundalk when he created two goals.

Mick Cooke

"I don't really see the reason why [he's been left out]. I can understand for the first time ever why Martin O'Neill has picked a 38 man squad because they have so many Championship players not playing football and they need to get game time which is I'm sure he will give them in America. 

"But surely to God, for a boy that's going to go to England, should he not be brought into the squad now? He will have European football under his belt, he's had two fantastic seasons and yet people are saying he should go to England."

Mick also questioned what is meant by going to England in terms of the division that the player finds himself in.

"At what level should he go to England to be guaranteed a call up? Andy Boyle and Daryl Horgan have gone to Preston. But if he goes, say, to a Second Division club [League 1] would he be called into the international squad. It's easy saying, 'Go to England'. But at what level does he go to? I certainly think he's good enough for the Championship - and the higher end of the Championship - and I don't see why Martin would not include him now to get used to the setup and the training procedures with the international team. Particularly, why not bring him down for the couple of days when they're down in Fota Island in Cork? I don't think they have a full squad of players down there because the Premier League players won't be involved in that training session."

Mick also added that Ireland are "running out of strikers" at international level at the moment after the current generation, which would suggest giving Maguire a chance to get used to the setup would be beneficial in the future.

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