Friday 28 October 2016

Horgan eager to prove himself on European stage

Published 24/06/2015 | 02:30

Dundalk player Daryl Horgan
Dundalk player Daryl Horgan

Daryl Horgan is content with life in Dundalk and why wouldn't he be but just like most League of Ireland players, he dreams of one day securing a move to England.

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The 22-year-old, who yesterday collected his SWAI/SSE Airtricity Player of the Month award for May, has had Championship clubs including Bolton monitoring him, but until an offer is made, he is focused on maintaining Dundalk's place at the top.

The Galway native is in his second season with Dundalk and his six-goal tally is a reflection of how much he is thriving under Stephen Kenny but just like many of his fellow players, he laments that fact that more aren't given a chance with Ireland.

Horgan, it must be said, is very realistic in his outlook, but he fully believes that players should at least be given a chance to prove themselves to Martin O'Neill in Ireland training.

"Unless there is something actually done about it, it's nothing to me," Horgan says of any potential move to England.

"It's very easy to talk. It's a different story when there is money on the table. It's just a pity when you're in Ireland you never play international football.

"Obviously everyone wants to play international football - you'd be financially far more stable.

"If it (move to England) comes up, great, I'll have to consider it but if it doesn't, I'm very happy with Dundalk at the moment."

It's an exciting time in Dundalk. The Lilywhites have bounced back well from their only defeat of the season to Bohemians and after Monday's Champions League draw, there is an added excitement in the air.

Dundalk will travel to Belarus to take on a BATE Borisov side who have played in the Champions League group stages in five of the last seven years and Horgan is relishing the challenge.

"I suppose the clubs in England probably see it as more their kind of level," he admits.

"They'll probably control most of the ball and probably be the favourites. We'll have to be at our best and hopefully we can nick something."

O'Neill was in Oriel Park for Dundalk's qualifier with Hajduk Split last year but nothing ever materialised in terms of players progressing.

Horgan isn't holding his breath for a call-up whilst playing in the League of Ireland but, nevertheless, he knows that the games against BATE will be a massive step up in terms of what Dundalk are used to.

"To be honest, I really don't know how he (O'Neill) sees it, how he thinks. It's a difficult one to describe," he insists.

"We play against BATE and they mightn't consider BATE as good as some of the Premier League clubs. I suppose the way Martin wants to look at it, or Roy Keane, it's probably different scenario to how I think of it.

"There hasn't been a League of Ireland player in a long, long while been put into the set-up to see how they've done.

"There's been a few cases where lads have gone over (to England) and they're straight in which is a bit disappointing to see.


"It's great for them and I wouldn't take it away from them but it's disappointing for lads who have been playing in the league for years that they aren't recognised as professional footballers, even though a lot of them would be," he adds.

Horgan's former Cork City team-mate Brian Lenihan was called into the Ireland squad last year just months after signing with Hull City - despite not having made a single appearance for the English club.

Horgan acknowledges that the full-back warranted his move to the then Premier League club but he remains irked by the fact that players playing in this country are continuing to be ignored.

"He never played, it was just maybe to see what he was like which is fair enough but if you're going to take a lad who's gone over and played with the reserves in Hull, why not take in a lad who's here playing first-team football constantly?

"There's nothing wrong with bringing a few lads into training and see how they're doing and see if they are far away and if they do need to step it up.

"The league maybe does need to be a bit more professional in training and facilities but I suppose, no one has been given the chance to prove themselves."

Horgan will be hoping that back-to-back Champions League qualifiers will give him the opportunity to prove himself and not just to O'Neill but to clubs in England as well.

Irish Independent

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