LIST: Five League of Ireland players who earned international recognition

Some become Boys in Green, while others remained on the radar of their countries, Raf Diallo writes

BY Raf Diallo 10:19 Thursday 2 April 2015, 10:19 2 Apr 2015

Joe Gamble in 2007 ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

There's a well known fact that Shamrock Rovers have provided more players to the Ireland squad than any other club in this country, the UK or further afield.

But, obviously they are bygone days and unlikely to spring up again in the near future.

However, the issue of looking at potential Boys in Green from the ranks of the League of Ireland was something Roddy Collins and Stuart Byrne debated on Off The Ball this week.

Dundalk left-back Dane Massey was the focus of that chat centering on whether he merits a call-up by Martin O'Neill based on his impressive club form.



There is only one way to find that out for definite and that is by calling him up, but that is a decision for the manager to assess and decide.

But since the Millennium, a few League of Ireland players have managed to earn caps for Ireland and other international teams while still plying their club trade on these shores.

 

Glen Crowe

Back when I first started following domestic soccer, the former Bohemians and Shelbourne man was one of the leading strikers in the Premier Division.

After returning from England in 1999, he would plunder 259 league goals to climb to sixth on the League of Ireland's all-time goalscorers charts, as well as scoring his fair share in European qualifiers.

His flirtation with the Republic of Ireland squad was fleeting, but came during his prolific spell at Bohs.

Glen Crowe of Ireland and Ioannis Goumas of Greece ©INPHO/Andrew Paton

Crowe made his debut in a friendly against Greece in Athens back in November 2002 under the management of then-caretaker boss Don Givens, when he was 24.   

In taking to the field, he became the first domestically based player to win a cap since 1986, and if memory serves me well, he acquitted himself adequately to the challenge.

Crowe would play once more for Ireland in a friendly against Norway the following April.

 

Jason Byrne

Like Crowe, the evergreen striker's goal record will stand the test of time. Still going at Bohemians, the 37-year-old earned international recognition during his time at Shelbourne which also coincided with Brian Kerr's stewardship of Ireland's reins.

Winning his first cap against Poland in 2004, he got on in the 90th minute, replacing Clinton Morrison.

It was not enough game-time to make any significant contribution in the 0-0 draw, but he did play in a 1-0 defeat to Chile two years and one month later under Steve Staunton, coming on 17 minutes from time. 

 

Joe Gamble

Playing in Brunei now, the former Cork City midfielder won two caps in 2007 as part of two US-hosted friendlies at a time when he was one of the most influential players in the league.

The first was against Ecuador, followed by a start against Bolivia a few days later.

Last year, the Corkman told Goal.com that O'Neill should consider calling up domestically-based players, saying: "Given the right opportunity and time players can make the grade, obviously not all but I think a good few. Currently five to six could make a big impact if given the chance."

Sligo's Pascal Millien and Jake Kelly of St.Pats ©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

Pascal Millen

Haiti are not a football power even if they did qualify for the 1974 World Cup and gave Italy a minor scare. That's where former Sligo Rovers winger Pascal Millien hails from.

Part of the Bit 'o Red's title-winning squad, the 28-year-old has been a full international since 2006.

In July 2013, he was part of the Haiti squad which traveled to the United States for the biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup, while still on Sligo's books.

 

Romauld Boco 

Another former Sligo player with international commitments was Romauld Boco. The French-born former Benin, who had three spells in the North-West, captained his country and was also part of the West African country's squad for three Nations Cups.

The one-time FAI Cup winner, who is now playing in India was registered with Sligo Rovers during the 2010 Cup of Nations.  

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