Off The Ball co-presenter picks a team from the players he's been able to see with his own eyes
"George Best was always calling for an all-Ireland team, Pat Jennings would have liked it as well, Derek Dougan was probably the most vociferous in his claims in the fight for an international team for the whole island."
Those were the words of The Irish Soccer Split author Cormac Moore on Off The Ball last August as he explained the fascinating history that led the Republic of Ireland and Northern Irish Football Association's to not only split but also engage in occasional talks to potentially merge and create an all-island team.
On Wednesday night's Football Show, sports journalist Philip Quinn discusses the issue in the wake of the growing debate and Sinn Fein's call for the creation of an all-island national soccer team encompassing the Republic and the North just like the rugby side.
With that in mind, Off The Ball co-presenter and former Ireland international Kevin Kilbane has been tasked with picking his All-Ireland XI of players he has witnessed playing, which means any footballers who did not play beyond 1986 are not considered.
So here's how his XI (plus manager) looks like below..and ex-Ireland defender Kenny Cunningham even had a go himself.
Derry native Martin O'Neill has strong connections from both sides of the island. He captained the Northern Irish team that shone at the 1982 World Cup in Spain.
And since 2013, the experienced 64-year-old has been in charge of the Republic of Ireland, guiding them to Euro 2016 and getting them into a good position on the road to the 2018 World Cup.
Arsenal legend Pat Jennings won an outstanding 119 caps for Northern Ireland between 1964 and 1986. But as a youth he played for Shamrock Rovers' underage sides and also played Gaelic football as a teen.
One of the great goalkeepers of his time.
The current Boys in Green captain makes the cut as Seamus Coleman slots in on the right side of defence. He has major tournament experience at Euro 2016 and at Everton has proven to be one of the best attack-minded full-backs in the Premier League.
One of the greatest defenders of his generation for club and country, Paul McGrath would be a shoe-in for this XI.
Who could forget that performance against Italy at Giant's Stadium, eh?
Unlucky to never go to a major tournament for Ireland after an injury ruled him out of Euro 88. However, he was an outstanding defender for Liverpool and the Boys in Green and played a key role in the 1988 qualifying campaign.
One of the few players who could score at least an 8 out of 10 in every match he played in professionally, Manchester United legend Denis Irwin would walk into any team.
In Kevin's own words, "Denis is the best full-back I’ve ever played with - the best of a generation in that position."
Like his fellow Cork man Irwin, Manchester United legend Roy Keane is one of the greatest players to have emerged on this island. A true leader.
Captained club and country during the height of his career.
A man who enjoyed success with Juventus and Arsenal, Liam Brady is as gifted a player as you'd see.
He scored this goal against Brazil in 1987:
A star for Liverpool, Ronnie Whelan also scored one of the Republic of Ireland's most famous goals with his acrobatic effort in the 1-1 draw with USSR at Euro 88.
A winger who earned plaudits during his time with Blackburn and Chelsea, Kevin knows Damien Duff all too well having played alongside a man who also reached the 100 cap mark for Ireland.
A scorer at the 2002 World Cup where he finished it off with a memorable bowing celebration to the fans.
Norman Whiteside of Northern Ireland 1985. © INPHO/Allsport
If it wasn't for injuries, who knows what else Northern Ireland great Norman Whiteside would have achieved for club and country.
He still achieved plenty for Manchester United and also still holds records as the youngest player to take part in a World Cup, having first gone to 1982 and then 1986.
He scored against Algeria in '86.
With 68 international goals, Robbie Keane is the greatest goalscorer this island has ever seen and Kevin was in teams that contributed to that astonishing goal and caps record.
But who missed the cut?
Not considered, having played before 1986 were the likes of George Best, John Giles and Danny Blanchflower.
And unlucky to not make it into Kevin's XI were Niall Quinn, Shay Given, Gerry Armstrong, Steve Staunton and Mick McCarthy.
Let us know what you think of the team on Twitter by tweeting @offtheball.