"I don't think we're going to have an argument about Wes Hoolahan any longer"

Stephen Kenny, Ruth Fahy and Andy Lee react to a painful night for Ireland

BY Raf Diallo 22:45 Tuesday 14 November 2017, 22:45 14 Nov 2017

The mood is obviously sombre everywhere and it was no different at our Aviva Fan Studio where Dundalk manager Stephen Kenny, boxer Andy Lee and Irish footballer Ruth Fahy were on hand to sum our collective feelings.  

Thoughts turned to players who may not be involved for Ireland beyond this campaign and one of those could be 35 year old playmaker Wes Hoolahan's whose name has loomed large over games in which he has not been picked in the starting XI like tonight against Denmark. 

"One thing that's huge, I don't think we're going to have an argument about Wes Hoolahan any longer. He's 35 years old so Eamon Dunphy's consistent spiel about him will be over," said Fahy.

"You're looking at Daryl Murphy who's 34 as well, a couple of players on the park will be, maybe five or six altogether are going to be moving on and where are the rest going to come from.

"I know that's a discussion for a whole different day but there's time for Martin O'Neill, he's got another two years, to come back and regroup and have a look that."  

Of those players that could feature in the next wave of young players, Kenny highlighted West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, who "could become more prominent".

"A lot of our players are centred at the moment - emerging players - at Burnley and Preston," he said.

"So we're looking for players. Of course Sean Maguire has had an instant impact at Preston before his recent injury. So in 18 months time, depending on who will emerge in that period, it will be interesting." 

He added that he expects a "period of experimentation" to follow now as there are no competitive games until next Autumn after the World Cup finals are done and dusted in Russia.


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