Kevin Kilbane: Daryl Horgan leads a pack of LOI players who should be on Ireland's radar

Off The Ball co-presenter on the international credentials of the League of Ireland's leading players

BY Kevin Kilbane 18:52 Friday 14 October 2016, 18:52 14 Oct 2016

Dundalk's Daryl Horgan ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

On Wednesday night's Off The Ball, we had the pleasure of speaking to Dundalk winger Daryl Horgan and he was quite confident when he was on the show with us.

He's confident in his ability which he has to be. It probably belies what their manager Stephen Kenny is saying. Stephen Kenny would love Horgan to be in the Ireland squad but he's making the argument that there are too many games - that the congestion is too much and they need the league extended.

Yet you're going to have a player who's going to be playing right on the cusp of that.

Is Horgan a shoe-in for the Ireland squad? Looking at it on form, you look at our bench particularly in the Moldova game and where is the game-changer? Against Georgia we had Wes Hoolahan on the bench. That's only one player who can come in and make a difference.

Invariably, you can imagine in that Austria game next month, we might need a player who can come on and be a game-changer because we could be in a situation where we are a goal down.

Realistically, I don't think Horgan will start if he's called up but to have him in the squad will be great for him.

Martin O'Neill saw him play the other night against Cork City and he scored what he considers his best ever goal in front of the Ireland manager, so it looks to me like he's certainly making all the right decisions on the pitch and playing the right way.

Martin O'Neill recognises what a talent he is and how well he is playing, so it seems for me the only solution is to pick him.

There were very few League of Ireland players in the squad during my time playing for the national team. We had Glen Crowe and Jason Byrne while I was there but overall very few were called up over the years.

But I think this is very different. It's a different situation because you're thinking Horgan can go in and have an impact.

I think he's good enough to go over the water and play in England. I feel that now certainly he would make an impact at Championship level.

But I also think there are one or two others in his own Dundalk team that could do the same.

Cork City have got two or three players in their side that can do the same.

There's Sean Maguire and I like Kevin O'Connor from that Cork side.

Sean Maguire

I think there are players within both Dundalk and Cork City to keep an eye on. But it's not just from those two.

If you look at Shamrock Rovers, look at Brandon Miele who's also playing well.

There are a dozen or so players that are excelling. And I think there has always been that and that it has always been the case.

But the problem is it's the stigma that's attached to the league. You're almost written off because you're playing League of Ireland and that's total crap really.

I think realistically we've got players now that are playing and performing and I just think the difference is now that they're playing in the Europa League.

It puts you on a different level to anything else.

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